Two Biggest Losses For 2011 Gators

To be honest, Florida doesn’t really lose all that much this year, and even better, shouldn’t lose all that much after this year, either.

But there are a few big pieces that need to be, and I believe will be, filled adequately in 2011.

Ahmad Black, safety

What he meant to Florida:

If ever there will be a sequel to Rudy, they’ll make it of Ahmad Black. Here is a perfect example of a guy who was told he wasn’t good enough, he was too slow and too small, and that he couldn’t play for an SEC team. Turns out that while he wasn’t the fastest or biggest guy out there, he was plenty good enough to be the Gators’ rock in the secondary for three straight seasons. He made his living on incredible instinct, and that was what made him Matt McGloin’s leading receiver in the Outback Bowl. But he had a habit of picking off well thrown passes in key situations- like when he ended the Tennessee game in 2009 with a late pick to seal the 23-13 win, and when Juaquin Iglesias made a huge catch in the BCS Championship game and Black just took it away. The perfect ending to Black’s movie was the pick 6 to end the Penn State game.

The replacement:

My guess is Matt Elam, who has never started a meaningful game, but has the great talent that makes a quick transition from bench to starter possible. He is an absolute headhunter, and will be more of a combo of Black and Major Wright, but will probably play in Black’s free safety spot.

Mike Pouncey, Center

What he meant to Florida:

Aside from snapping balls all over Alachua County? Yeah, there was also the impressive fact that he played most of four years at Florida and started three of them. He earned All-American honors, and for a lineman, he was pretty quick. No, he can’t beat Chris Rainey in a race, but there have been instances when he played guard where he recovered from a missed block to hold off a linebacker shooting the a-gap and pushing him more to the outside, giving Tebow more time to throw. His athleticism will surely be missed.

The replacement:

Could be anybody. Sam Robey was once upon a time a true center and he seems to be the best bet as of right now. Remember, though, this is Florida, and every single player has to be able to play multiple positions. Tim Tebow was a QB, and techinically, our short yardage running back. Percy Harvin was a running back and receiver. Brandon James was a punt returner, but saw some time as a receiver and running back. So Weis might not hesitate to play musical chairs with the offensive line, either, and convert a tackle or guard (but he’ll actually make sure he knows how to snap a ball).

Again, though, we’re Florida. We’ll be fine with the way we recruit.

9 thoughts on “Two Biggest Losses For 2011 Gators

  1. I will miss both of those guys and never forget what they did for us. Their kind of talent is extremely hard to come by and not easy to replace. But like you said this is UF and we’ll be fine.
    Hopefully these two will have good success in the NFL.

  2. Stand up guys that will be sorely missed, good luck gentlemen! We will find replacements we are Florida.

  3. Had Mo stayed another year and he and Mike left together after 2010, I’d consider it a tie with the two of them.

    I’m not sure I’d consider Mike a loss now. Center Mike. He has short arms (which might hurt him at guard in the pros but probably not) which were the ultimate root of the snapping problem – he was never able to get a proper motion down.

    Add to the fact that his first game at center the humidity was toff the charts and apparently Florida had no rosin bag, and there was the disaster that was game 1, fully acknowledging Brantley’s lack of athleticism and awareness caused a lot of those “bad snaps.”

    What you ended up with was a Mike Pouncey who spent the whole year THINKING instead of reacting. Thinking about the snap. Thinking about snapping and blocking, snapping and pulling. The guy who should have been the captain was like a timid true freshman.

    After seeing what we’ve seen, now I’m really curious to know what we’ll never know – what really happened between Pouncey, Powell and Easley. My guess is a combination of things: them being brash and entitled, Pouncey speaking up and them probably saying something like “boy can’t even snap a football and he tellin us how to act”

    Black is a HUGE loss.

    One of the biggest mistakes ever made was Meyer accommodating Will Hill. Black and Wright made a hell of a tandem in 2008, so what happens in 2009 ? Hill starts taking playing time away from them because he’s more athletic. The Alabama game was so easy to see. When Wright was out, that’s when Bama got crazy.

    This, after 2008. The BCS game. Wright had a pickoff. Granted it was a bobblefest, but it was in the end zone and it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. How often have we been able to say that about Will Hill ? Not to mention, Wright’s destruction of Manuel Johnson on the opening drive, which more or less determined the outcome of the game right then and there. It certainly is what caused Black’s int.

    I cover the Wright impact a wee bit on my site

    The article is titled Soup, errr Bowl

    Black is a huge loss. Bigger than we might think. never mind his amazing awareness and knack for big plays. They will be missed a lot. However, the psychological impact is what worries me. AB is, for lack of better terminology, the little engine that could.

    He was an actual carbon based walking talking example of how hard work pays off, whereas some tend think it’s just lip service coming from a coach. It’s losing the leadership merely by existing that worries me.

  4. I think Will Hill’s total meaningful production during his entire career consisted of about 10 seconds in overtime of the Florida-Georgia game.

  5. Losing Will Hill will be addition by subtraction. The guy was a rare example of 5-star worthlessness.
    I am very concerned over our #3 corner this coming season. As we saw against FSU, Moses Jenkins cannot play on this level. Hopefully Cody Riggs is able to step up.
    Safety is our deepest position, so while the loss of Black is huge, it’s the best position for us to replace.

    Pouncey was not very valuable last season. Our offensive line was a total mess. I blame his demise on Addazio, but the all-sec election was laughable.

  6. Mike had no business playing center, what kind stupid of philosophy says your best lineman plays center? If your best lineman plays guard then d*mnit he plays GUARD!

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