- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter
Which Florida players are making the biggest contributions on the field?
GatorNation will tell you every week. It’s not just a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest differences following each game.
Here’s this week’s top 10 (last week’s rankings in parentheses):
1. RB Mike Gillislee (1): The senior followed up his impressive Week 1 performance with 83 yards and two touchdowns against Texas A&M. His 12-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, on which he tip-toed down the sideline, provided the game-winning points.
2. QB Jeff Driskel (4): It’s more than just the numbers that Driskel put up in his first career start (13-for-16, 162 yards). It was the poise with which he played in a hostile environment. He made big throws and had a couple big runs in the fourth quarter to help the Gators gain, and then hold on to, the lead.
3. TE Jordan Reed (NR): He tied his career high with five catches against Texas A&M, two of which resulted in first downs. One of those was a 30-yarder. He’s quickly becoming the Gators’ most reliable target and he has shown the ability to do something after the catch.
4. LB Michael Taylor (NR): Taylor was thrust into a bigger role after starting weakside LB Jelani Jenkins had to leave the game with a thumb injury. Taylor responded with six tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss. His versatility is perhaps his biggest strength.
5. FB Hunter Joyer (NR): Joyer gets this high on the list because of what he did on Gillislee’s 12-yard TD run. He blocked three players, which allowed Gillislee to get the edge and score the game-winning points.
6. P Kyle Christy (NR): The Gators played field position in the second half against the Aggies and Christy was a big part of that. He pinned Texas A&M at its own 18 and 9 on back-to-back punts in the third quarter. He had two fourth-quarter punts in which the Aggies started drives inside their own 30.
7. S Josh Evans (NR): He led UF with eight tackles despite leaving the game after suffering a shoulder injury.
8. K Caleb Sturgis (NR): Sturgis made both field goals he attempted Saturday, including a 51-yarder. That was his seventh career field goal of 50 yards or longer.
9. DE Dominique Easley (NR): Easley, like the rest of UF’s defensive front, struggled in the first half. But they rallied in the second and clamped down on A&M QB Johnny Manziel. Easley finished with six tackles.
10. CB Marcus Roberson (3): He finished with five tackles, including four solos, and continues to show improved coverage skills. A&M threw a lot of short, quick passes so there weren’t many chances to create turnovers.
Which Florida players are making the biggest contributions on the field?GatorNation will tell you every week. It’s not just a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest differences following each game.