In the 2016 season, the Florida Gators only had one All-SEC first team player which was Teez Tabor. The Detroit Lions picked Tabor in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Even with Tabor gone, the Gators have a few potential players that could make the First team All-SEC roster. Since 2005, the Florida Gators have had at least one player make the All-SEC first team. The Gators expected to continue that trend and here are five guys you can see make that list.
Callaway is Florida’s best offensive player and is expected to be a first or second round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Gators haven’t had an offensive player make the All-SEC first team in quite a while, but Callaway could be the guy that ends the skid. As of now, Callaway is a top three wide receiver in the SEC behind Calvin Ridley and Christian Kirk. If Florida can have solid quarterback play, Callaway could have a monster season. He is already a top three WR in the SEC with below average QBs. Get him a quarterback that can get him the ball and he could be the top wide out in the SEC. This is a huge year for Callaway as he is draft eligible. He looked really strong in his first spring camp and could really take the SEC by storm.
The Gators could see two offensive players make the All-SEC first team list and Ivey might have the best chance of earning those honors. The former five-star OT will finally start at left tackle after playing left guard his first two years at Florida. David Sharpe is now in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders which moves Ivey to his natural position. Ivey was a Second Team All-SEC as an offensive guard. Ivey was also a 2x SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week. One of those weeks was at left tackle which was the only time Ivey played left tackle for a full game. Just like Callaway, Ivey is draft eligible and could be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. With Coach Brad Davis as Florida’s O-line coach, Ivey could take his game to the next level and make the First Team All-SEC roster.
Not only is Johnny Townsend arguably Florida’s most valuable player, Townsend might be the best punter in the country. The senior punter is considered by many to be one of the best if not the best punter in the country. Townsend had a Ray Guy Award season but for some reason wasn’t even a finalist. In fact, Townsend didn’t even make the All-SEC First Team. He did make the All-SEC Second Team but he deserved better than that. All he did was led the nation in net-punting average and finish in fourth in gross average punting yards. Nobody flips fields better than the Florida punter. Townsend has to be a favorite to compete with Alabama’s JK Scott for First Team All-SEC and the Ray Guy Award.
The Florida Gators are very good at getting defensive players on the First Team All-SEC roster. Marcell Harris could be the next Gator defensive player to make the First Team All-SEC roster. Harris returned to Gainesville for his redshirt-senior season to improve his draft stock and be one of the best DBs in the country. Harris had a strong finish to the 2016 season. He led the Gators in tackles with 73 and had four tackles for loss. At safety, Harris is known as a thumper but he could be dangerous with the ball in his hands. If Florida’s strong safety could turn into a lockdown defender as well, not only could he be a First Team All-SEC member. You could see him make a case for being an All-American.
The biggest recruit in Florida’s 2016 recruiting class was the JUCO kicker out of ASA College, Eddy Pinero. Pinero was just a huge get since Florida really struggled in the kicking game in the 2015 season. Not only did Pinero fix Florida’s kicking problems, he made the kicking game one of Florida’s strengths. He has the strongest leg in country kicking 81-yard field goals with pads on, in practice. Pinero is one of the most offensive players the Gators have even though he’s on special teams. He finished his first season making 21-25 fields goals. He also made his last eight attempts to close his season. If Eddy Pinero has a better season, he could be a First Team All-SEC member and also a Lou Groza Award finalist. Pinero is draft eligible and could leave if he has a great redshirt-junior season.