Gators’ best by the numbers: Nos. 61-70

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Florida offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor (65) sets up to block at the line of scrimmage during the second half against Missouri in Gainesville last year. Taylor is a possible pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

 Who was the best player to wear No. 11 in Florida football history?

 That’s an easy one.

 Steve Spurrier. Everyone knows that.

 The same goes for No. 7 (Danny Wuerffel) and, of course, No. 15 (Tim Tebow).

 But what about No. 21 or No. 32 or No. 97? 

 Over the next few weeks, we’re going to look at every number and pick out the best Gator player at each one.

 Today, Nos. 61-70:

No. 61

Ellis Johnson, DT, 1991-94

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 61: He was a dominant presence inside with his strength, size and athletic ability. He earned first team All-SEC honors in his senior season and was one of UF’s top defenders in the Steve Spurrier coaching era.

Other notables: DT Gerard Warren, OT Mo Mitchell, D Ron Coleman, OG Gerald Loper.

No. 62

Mac Steen, OL, 1967-69

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 62: In 1969, the “Super Sophs” were guided by a strong senior class that included Steen, who was a steading influence on the offensive line, and one of the reasons Reaves-to-Alvarez became such a big hit that season.

Other notables: DE Alonzo Mitz, OG Corey Yarbrough, OT Dean Golden.

No. 63

Mike Williams, OT, 1973-75

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 63: Big and athletic, Williams excelled as a pass blocker and run blocker. He was a first team All-SEC pick in his senior season, when the Gators went to the wishbone offense.

 Other notables: DL Jack Thomson, OL Jim Tartt, OL Tracy Daniels.

No. 64

Burton Lawless, OG, 1972-74

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 64: One of UF’s best offensive linemen in the 1970s, Lawless was a two-time All-SEC pick and an All-American his senior season. He went on to have a long and productive NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys.

 Other notables: OL Keith Tribble, DL Phillip Johnson, OL Greg Cleveland.

No. 65

Jawaan Taylor, OG, 2016-18

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 65: Here’s another player who showed how wrong all the recruiting experts can be. He was a three-star recruit who went on to become a five-star player for the Gators. 

 Other notables: OL Dan Plonk, OL Gary Lenard, DL Robbie Rebol.

No. 66

Robin Fisher, NG, 1979-81

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 66: At barely over 200 pounds Fisher was too small to play nose tackle in the rugged SEC. But don’t tell him (or his opponents) that. He overcame his lack of size with great quickness and effort and was one of UF’s best defensive players in the 1980s.

 Other notables: DT Keith Williams, DT Scott Hutchinson, NG David Hitchcock, DL Larry Beckman.

No. 67

Darrell Carpenter, DT, 1974-76

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 67: He was one  of the Gators’ best defensive players in the ’70s, using technique, leverage and athletic ability to consistently make plays up front. He was second team All-SEC his junior and senior seasons.

 Other notables: DE Mark Campbell, OL Drew Miller, OL Jon Halapio, DL Larry Travis.

No. 68

Mike Degory, C, 2002-05

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 68: He was one of the state’s highest-rated recruits coming out of high school, and he lived up to expectations during a stellar UF career. He was a first team All-SEC pick his senior season after being on the second team as a junior.

 Other notables: DT Rhondy Weston, OL John Hunt.

No. 69

Zach Piller, OT, 1996-98

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 69: Big, strong and athletic, Piller was a dominant offensive tackle, especially when he wanted to be. A transfer from Georgia Tech, he went on to become All-SEC in his senior season.

Other notables: DL Bill Dorsey, OL Dan Fike, Ol Dennis Forrester.

No. 70

Cooper Carlisle, OT, 1995-99

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 70: In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Gators signed multiple players from the state of Mississippi. Carlisle was one of them — and he turned out to be one of the best, earning first team All-SEC honors his senior season.

 Other notables: OT D.J. Humphries, OT Glenn Neely, OT Scott Trimble, OG Joe Wickline, OT Joe Pupello.