Gators’ best by the numbers: Nos. 81-90

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Florida Gator Wilber Marshall

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 last few weeks, we’’ve  been looking at every number and picking out the best Gator player at each one.

 Today, Nos. 81-90:

No. 81

Aaron Hernandez, TE, 2007-09

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 81: Because of what he went on to eventually become, most won’t remember what this guy did on the field for the Gators. But he was exceptional, the first All-American tight end in school history and the first SEC tight end to win the John Mackey Award. He was a big-time playmaker who owns the school record for most catches by a tight end in a season (68) and for his career (111).

 Other notables: TE Hank Foldberg, WR Dallas Baker, WR Antonio Callaway.

No. 82

David Ghesquiere, LB, 1967-69

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 82: While the Super Sophs on offense were grabbing most of the headlines in 1969, Ghesquiere was a senior and steadying (and playmaking) influence on defense, earning first team All-SEC honors.

 Other notables: TE Walter Odom, TE Mike Mularkey, WR Aubrey Hill, WR Louis Murphy.

No. 83

Dwayne Dixon, WR, 1981-83

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 83: He was one of UF’s best and most productive receivers in the 1980s. He led the Gators in receptions his junior and senior years, combining to catch 87 passes for 1,185 yards and four touchdowns. He was first team All-SEC his senior season.

 Other notables: DE Harvey Thomas, TE Jack Coons, WR David Nelson.

No. 84

Lynn Matthews, DE, 1963-65

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 84: He was considered UF’s best defensive end during the Ray Graves coaching era, earning first team All-America honors his senior season.

 Other notables: TE Ben Troupe, WR Harrison Houston, TE Tate Casey, TE Kyle Pitts.

No. 85

David Galloway, DT, 1978-81

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 85: After being slowed by injuries during his first three years in Gainesville, Galloway had a breakout senior season, dominating on the field and earning All-America honors. He was drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Cardinals.

 Other notables: WR Frankie Hammond, WR Paul Ewaldson.

No. 86

Gary Rolle, WR, 1982-84

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 86: He is yet another great UF success story, going from unknown walk-on to starting wide receiver and major contributor. He went on to become a doctor.

 Other notables: WR Riley Cooper, DE Darrell Lee, DE Vince Jones, TE Charlie Dean.

No. 87

Jim Yancey, TE, 1968-71

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 87: A big, athletic tight end who was a force in the passing game and more than held his own in run blocking. He was first team All-SEC his senior season.

 Other notables: DE Mike Clark, DE Rodney Jones.

No. 88 Wilber Marshall, OLB, 1981-83

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 88: Most will agree that he’s the greatest defensive player in the history of Florida football. He came to UF as a tight end, but was moved to outside linebacker after his freshman season and he exploded on the college football scene, disrupting offenses and terrorizing opposing quarterbacks. A two-time consensus All-American, he finished his career with a school-record 23 sacks.

 Other notables: TE Jim Yarbrough, TE Kirk Kirkpatrick, TE Erron Kinney, TE Alvis Darby, TE Randy Jackson.

No. 89

Wes Chandler, WR, 1975-77

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 89: He was one of the most fluid and explosive offensive playmakers in school history — and he did it playing wide receiver in a wishbone offense. A two-time All-American, he had 92 career receptions for 1,963 yards and 22 touchdowns.

 Other notables: WR Charlie Casey, WR Ricky Nattiel, WR Spencer Jackson.

No. 90

Huey Richardson, DE, 1986-90

 Why he’s the No. 1 No. 90: One of the highest-rated (and certainly one of the most hyped) recruits in school history coming out of Atlanta. He lived up to expectations, earning All-America honors his senior season and All-SEC honors his junior and senior seasons. He produced 26.5 career sacks and 50.0 tackles for losses.

 Other notables: DT Jonathan Bullard, DE Preston Kendrick, DE Val Brown.

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