January 7th, 2008 the #2 Oklahoma Sooners took on the #1 Florida Gators for the BCS National Championship. The Florida Gators won by a score of 24-14. The Gators captured their 2nd BCS National Title in three years. The Florida Gators were coached by Urban Meyer.
The Florida Gators had an amazing roster that produced many NFL players. Some of the players on that roster were Tim Tebow, Aaron Hernandez, Percy Harvin, Carlos Dunlap, Will Hill, Janoris Jenkins, Brandon Spikes, Joe Haden, Riley Cooper, Cam Newton, Caleb Sturgis, Major Wright, Mike Pouncey, Maurkice Pouncey, and Marcus Gilbert.
Tim Tebow is known as one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all-time. He also won two National Championships. He has broken many SEC, Collegiate, and many Gators records. He won the Heisman in 2007. Tebow was drafted 25th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. In 2011 Tim Tebow took the Denver Broncos to the playoffs and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tebow and the Broncos then ended up losing to the AFC Champion New England Patriots the next week in Foxborough. In his short-lived NFL career Tebow was well-respected and led many 4th quarter game-winning comebacks. Tebow is also one of the most religious athletes of all-time. He would wear eyeblack with John 3:16 representing a verse from the Bible. He would also, get down on one knee and pray. Now, Tebow is a College Football Analyst with ESPN while playing minor league baseball in the New York Mets farm system. Tebow might have still been in the NFL if he switched to running back or tight end. Tebow was never given a chance with his stint with the Jets and Rex Ryan moved him to special teams before cutting him.
Aaron Hernandez had a great career as a Gator. He won the John Mackey award in 2009. He was taken in the 4th round 113th overall by the New England Patriots. The reason his draft stock was so low was because he had many off-field issues. He played three seasons in the NFL putting up good numbers. When he played with Rob Gronkowski the two formed an unstoppable duo. Hernandez even played in the Super bowl but lost to the New York Giants. On August 27th, 2012, Hernandez signed a 5-year contract extension. He was then investigated for a double-murder and murdering his friend and his girlfriend’s sister’s fiancée. In the NFL Hernandez could not escape his off-field issues and they escalated. On June 26th, 2013 Aaron Hernandez was released by the Patriots after being found guilty of the murder. Before the investigation of the double murder Aaron Hernandez hung himself in his jail cell and he passed away. Netflix made a documentary about Aaron Hernandez in January that I highly recommend watching. Hernandez also had CTE which is a terrible brain injury that causes violent mood swings and many other issues.
The Gators also had Percy Harvin. Harvin was used as a running back for the Gators. He had a very good career as a member of the Gators. He was drafted 22nd overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. In the NFL he was used as a wide reciever. In Harvin’s rookie year he was selected to the Pro Bowl and won Offensive Rookie of the Year. He played for five teams in his NFL career. Harvin admitted he would get high before every game to reduce his anxiety. Harvin was plagued by many injuries which caused his career to be short. Harvin now is looking to make an NFL comeback but he has not found any success so far.
Carlos Dunlap was very good on the Gators defensive line. He was drafted 54th overall in 2010 by the Cincinnati Bengals. Dunlap has played for the Bengals his whole career and is still playing now. Dunlap made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and 2016. In 2015 he had 13.5 sacks.
Hill had a good career in college. His first year in the NFL was in 2012 with the New York Giants. Hill also played for the Baltimore Ravens after he was cut by the Giants for getting arrested due to driving with a suspended license. He also has been suspended for failing the NFL’s substance abuse policy on numerous occasions.
Janoris Jenkins had a good career in Florida. However, he struggled with the law as he was arrested twice for possession of marijuana. He was also arrested again in 2009 for being in a fight. Jenkins was drafted 39th overall in 2012 by the St. Louis Rams. Jenkins was a member of the All-Rookie Team in 2012. He also made the Pro Bowl in 2016 with the New York Giants. He was released by the Giants after calling a heckler on Twitter a retard.
Brandon Spikes had an amazing career as a Gator. He was a tackling machine as he led the SEC in tackles in 2007. In 2008 and 2009 he was a consensus All-American. Spikes was drafted 62nd overall by the New England Patriots. In the NFL he played for the Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. He struggled in the NFL and did not do well. He dealt with issues with the law as he plead guilty for a hit-and-run.
Joe Haden had an outstanding career in college. He was a consensus All-American in 2009. Haden was drafted 7th overall in 2010 by the Cleveland Browns. Haden has played for the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2010 Haden made the all-rookie team. Haden made the Pro Bowl in 2013, 2014, and 2019.
Riley Cooper had an average career at Florida. He was not the number one wide reciever until he broke out his senior year. Cooper was drafted 159th overall in 2010 by the Philadelphia Eagles. His only good or decent year was in 2013. He had issues with some of his teammates when he used the N-word at a Kenny Chesney concert but than issued an apology. His last year in the NFL was 2015.
Cam Newton did not do well in his time at Florida. He was the backup QB his whole time there. In 2008 Newton was arrested on felony charges of burglary, larceny, and obstruction of justice on an accusation of him stealing a laptop from another University of Florida student. Cam Newton transferred to Auburn University. He had an amazing year there. The following year he went 1st overall to the Carolina Panthers. In 2011 he won Offensive Rookie of the Year. Newton is a 3-time Pro Bowler and won the MVP in 2015. He took the Panthers to the Super Bowl but were blown out by the Denver Broncos. Newton just got signed by the New England Patriots on Sunday June 28th.
Caleb Sturgis was a good kicker for the Gators. He was drafted 166th overall in 2013 by the Miami Dolphins. Sturgis last played in the NFL for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018.
Major Wright was a solid defensive back for the Gators. He recorded many interceptions for the Gators defense. He was drafted 75th overall by Chicago Bears in 2010. Major Wright did not do well in the NFL as he was a mediocre safety. He last played in the NFL in 2016 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Mike Pouncey was a stud offensive lineman protecting Tim Tebow. Mike Pouncey was drafted 15th overall in 2011 by the Miami Dolphins. Mike was a member of the all-rookie team in 2011. He is a 4-time Pro Bowler. He also has played for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Maurkice Pouncey (Mike’s brother) was another solid offensive lineman for the Gators. His success continued in the NFL as he was drafted 18th overall in the 2010 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2009 he was a Consensus All-American and won the Dave Rimington Trophy. Maurkice was a member of the all-rookie team in 2010. Pouncey is an 8-time pro bowler and was a first team all-pro in 2011 and 2014. In 2019 he was suspended for his role in the Mason Rudolph and Myles Garrett brawl as he was suspended two games.
Marcus Gilbert was another solid offensive lineman for the Gators. He was drafted 63rd overall in 2011 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was reunited with college teammates Maurkice Pouncey and Joe Haden. Gilbert was suspended in 2017 for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy. In 2017 Gilbert was also sued for body slamming and injured the mans right leg and back. Gilbert was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in March of 2019 and then resigned a one year deal.
This Gators team needs a 30 for 30 on ESPN. They won the National Championship and were coached by Urban Meyer who is a great coach. Tim Tebow the leader of that team was a great athlete and devoted catholic. Meanwhile, a few of his teammates even though were criminals some also had great success in the NFL. ESPN needs to make a documentary about this showing the success and failures of the Gators players and their futures.