- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- 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 difference each week.
Here’s this week’s top 10 (last week’s rankings in parenthesis):
QB Jeff Driskel (1): It wasn’t a perfect performance -- he threw his first interception and missed several throws high -- but Driskel did account for 238 total yards and two touchdowns (one rushing). He continues to improve weekly. However, his toughest test comes in two weeks: LSU.
TE Jordan Reed (5): He caught only three passes for 41 yards and inexplicably jumped two steps too early for another pass, but Reed showcased his toughness and hands when he held onto the ball after getting walloped in the head by Kentucky S Mikie Benton.
CB Jaylen Watkins (NR): Watkins returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown. He knew exactly what the Wildcats were going to do thanks to film study and jumped the route. He has out-played Loucheiz Purifoy and won the starting job opposite Marcus Roberson.
RB Omarius Hines (NR): Hines has been more of a factor as a receiver so far this season. His 52-yard catch against Kentucky shows he deserves to be more involved in the offense.
RB Mike Gillislee (No. 3): Gillislee had, by his standards, a pedestrian day (56 yards, one TD) but he’s without a doubt the cornerstone of UF’s offense. He’s such a shifty and powerful runner that he rarely gets stopped for negative yardage. He had positive yards on all 13 of his carries against Kentucky.
WR Quinton Dunbar (NR): Dunbar is finally becoming a significant part of the offense. He caught three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown against the Wildcats. It’s the most catches he’s had in a game this season.
S De’Ante Saunders (NR): After sitting out the first two games of the season because of a suspension and a hamstring injury, Saunders has played pretty well against Tennessee and Kentucky. He had the first of UF’s three interceptions on Saturday.
DT Omar Hunter (NR): The Gators had some trouble defending the perimeter run early, but UF was solid up the middle. Hunter led the charge, recording a team-high eight tackles.
RB Matt Jones (NR): UF has been waiting for someone to emerge as the top backup to Gillislee, and it appears Jones has won the job. He carried 10 times for 45 yards and caught one pass for 6 yards against Kentucky.
S Josh Evans (NR): Evans has been steady all season and added five more tackles against Kentucky. He is UF’s leading tackler (26).
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- 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 difference each week.