So here was the idea. In 2006, we ranked the top 100 Florida football players on the 100th anniversary of Florida football. A lot of players have been stars since then, so let’s re-rank them. But that would mean kicking some of those players to the curb. So instead, we give you this as you try to take your minds off things — the Top 10 Gators at each position over the last 114 years of football. This is the third of a 13-part series.
Today — The running backs.
Up next — The tight ends.
- Emmitt Smith (1987-89) — Defenses knew that Smith was going to get the ball (700 carries in three years), but they still had a difficult time stopping him. Smith has the Florida record for yards in a game (316) and 100-yard rushing games (23 in 36 games). And nobody had more highlight runs.
- Errict Rhett (1989-93) — Florida’s all-time leading rusher (4,163) was the perfect complement to the Steve Spurrier Fun ‘n’ Fun offense. He was also a weapon as a receiver with 153 catches in his career and scored 36 total touchdowns.
- Neal Anderson (1982-85) — A combination of elusive and powerful, Anderson averaged 5.1 yards a carry for four years and scored 32 touchdowns.
- Fred Taylor (1994-97) — Taylor started with a bang and ended with one as well. He had 873 yards as a freshman and then 1,292 as a workhorse in his senior year. And he’ll always have that 1997 FSU game.
- Tony Green (1974-77) — Green finished his career seventh on Florida’s all time rushing list and averaged 6.3 yards a carry twice.
- John L. Williams (1982-85) — In his last two seasons, Williams went over 1,000 yards each year in total yards from scrimmage.
- Earnest Graham (1998-2002) — Despite a pair of injuries in his junior year, Graham went over 3,000 yards for his career and scored 33 rushing touchdowns.
- Larry Smith (1966-68) — Smith battled injuries late in his career, but still managed to score 29 touchdowns and rush for more than 2,000 yards in three seasons. And his 94-yard TD run in the Orange Bowl is still a Florida bowl record.
- Jimmy Dubose (1973-75) — It wasn’t until Florida went to the wishbone in his senior season that Jimmy Du went off, rushing for 1,307 yards and being named SEC Player of the Year.
- James Jones (1979-82) — He was called The Franchise in high school and did it all for UF as well with a combined 2,611 yards rushing and receiving and 22 TDs plus “The Catch” vs. Miami in 1982.