GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Which Florida players are making the biggest contributions on the field?
GatorNation will tell you every week.
Therefore we're introducing the Gator Greats, our weekly power rankings of Florida’s top contributors. It’s not just a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest difference each week.
We’ll rank the top five this week, but beginning next week and for the rest of the season the list will expand to 10.
Here’s the inaugural Gator Greats:
1. RB Mike Gillislee: The Gators got everything they’d hoped for out of Gillislee against Bowling Green. He was a workhorse (24 carries), he got tough yards between the tackles, he showed he’s got breakaway speed, and he wasn’t a liability in pass protection. Most importantly, he stayed healthy and didn’t fumble.
2. CB Jaylen Watkins: He replaced Loucheiz Purifoy after Purifoy missed two critical tackles on one drive and made an immediate impact. On Bowling Green’s next possession, Watkins broke up two passes and helped forced a three-and-out. He had another pass breakup, too, and likely stole the starting spot from Purifoy.
3. CB Marcus Roberson: Roberson proved he’s over the neck injury that cost him the final three games of 2011 with three pass breakups and an interception off a tipped pass. There were several sideline routes in which he completely locked down the Falcons receiver, too.
4. QB Jeff Driskel: Driskel was solid, completing 10 of 16 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown. He had a couple of bad throws, but otherwise didn’t make a mistake -- no fumbles, no interceptions. That might be all the Gators want out of their quarterback this season, and Driskel’s performance might be enough to win him the starting job.
5. KR Andre Debose: Debose had a 38-yard kickoff return and a 32-yard punt return and was close to breaking both of those for touchdowns. Every time he catches a punt or kickoff, you can feel the electricity in the stadium. He would have been higher on the list were it not for his late-hit penalty.