Gators Football Announces Jersey Numbers for 2018-19 Season: Our Grades

For all those ‘jersey number’ freaks out there (seriously, I had no idea people could be so passionate about jersey numbers) the highlight of the off season has arrived as the Florida Gators released the 2018-19 numbers for your boys in the orange and blue.

While I am not personally someone who is obsessed with certain numbers for certain players, it cannot be denied that some just look damn sexy when given out to the right position. So with all my extensive fashion knowledge, and more specifically numerical skills, here are my jersey number grades for both new Gators and those who chose to change number.

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First on Offense:

  • Toney #17 > #4: While I did like 17 on Toney, it fit more so when we he was our tweener Wildcat-QB-WR dude. Now that Mullen has officially named him a receiver, the switch to #4 for him feels so right. “4” has that speediness to it that tells you the guy wearing it is going to break some ankles on his way to a screen-play touchdown. That’s Toney. A+
  • Jones #14 > #5: It was short lived, but Jones started with the #14 jersey and has since made the move to #5. Normally I like 14 on a quarterback and it worked for Jones, but didn’t have the swagger he needed. “5” is a bit better but I’m not totally in love. That could change when he wins the Heisman 4 straight years wearing it. It’s an improvement and I think his favorite/high school number(?). B+
  • Krull #7: Nope. Tight ends shouldn’t have 7. That should be for an athletic QB. Give him 44 or something like that. D
  • Grimes #81 > #8: I honestly loved Grimes with #81. He’s a lengthy receiver that can beat you at the high point. That’s an “81” and it looked right on him. This feels like a ‘lower numbers are the new fad’ deal but 8 just doesn’t seem right for a wide receiver. C
  • Jefferson #87 > #12: I think Van Jefferson is going to be an absolute stud for Florida and will eventually earn a top 3 round draft pick because of it… but he’d be an UDFA if it came to jersey numbers (terrible joke, sorry). “87” was so perfect for Jefferson and it immediately made him look like that ‘I am going to ruin your day, defender’ kind of look. “12” is for Quarterbacks. Pocket passer to be specific. NOPE. D
  • Watkins #14: So the first thing I want to point out is that Watkins is listed as a wide receiver, when it had been hinted he may start at corner when arriving this Summer. But there is no 14 on defense, so he could still make the jump. “14” is okay and I think more so because he could switch to DB, which would also be an okay number… B-
  • Copeland #15: This kid has some cojones and I absolutely love it. He’s been talking up a game since his junior year of high school and continues to do so since arriving in Gainesville just a couple weeks ago. Who better to take the coveted #15 on offense. Now, I will say that I think a number like 5 would have been just perfect, but I’m okay with Copeland coming in and wanting to put immediate weight and eyes on him. A
  • Sproles #42 > #17: “42” was an awful number for a QB. “17” isn’t great but it isn’t bad either. An improvement at the very least. B-
  • McDowell #62: Offensive lineman having an offensive line number. B
  • Washington #62 > #63: Sure. C+
  • Gouraige #76: It’s a good offensive lineman number and it has a nice old school feel to it. Good pick. B+
  • Lang #81: I liked this better for Jefferson, but I also think that 81 works really well for tight ends, especially lengthy ones like Lang. This works for me. B+
  • Pitts #84: Same story; a good tight end number for a tight end. It also works for a bigger receiver, but isn’t that also the same thing as a tight end? Sort of…?
  • Thompson #84 > #85: Why not. “84” is better for Pitts. C+
  • Gross ? > #87: Not sure what he was changing from, or that it matters, but #87 is a very good number not to be taken lightly. We shall see… C-

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Okay, maybe I see why people like Jersey Number debates… onto the defense:

  • Reese #4: Ehhh I don’t love it for the newcomer, Reese. “4” is better on offense. I’d rather he get something in the 40’s or low 30’s. D
  • Moon #50 > #7: “50” kind of worked for Moon, though I’ll admit it’s not a perfect fit. “7” is a number truly meant for a player with some aggressive and athletic play-style. With a more aggressive defense expected under Coach Grantham, this could be perfect for Moon if he can make the transition we know him capable of. I almost like it for Cece Jefferson for the same reasons… B+
  • Carter #94 > #17: Not a fan of this switch. “17” doesn’t seem right at all and he seemed to rock 93 well. D
  • Dean III #21: I like Dean in in the 21 jersey. He’s an athletic freak and going to be everywhere on the field. “21” works great for him. “23” would have been better, but his athletic counterpart Gardner-Johnson dons it well already.
  • Huggins #26: This is okay for me. “17” would have been better for him. B-
  • Langham #35: I can dig 35 for Langham, he’s going to be a guy who can put his hand in the ground or drop back and cover the middle. A mid 30’s number screams versatility and I like it. B
  • Clay #36: Neat. C
  • Clayton #90 > #77: I think 77 works for Clayton, but 90 just seems to work a little better, especially since he’ll be coming from the edge more. C+
  • Chatfield #90: If Clayton won’t wear 90 than I like it for Chatfield, though he also would have been a good 7. B
  • Conliffe #57 > #94: This is also an okay change, though I do like my big guys to have those 50s numbers. A big ol’ 94 works fine though. B
  • Gordon #94. Okay. C
  • McPherson #19: I can dig 19, it’s a decent number for special teams. I kind of would have liked him to have 1 or 99 or something with a little more swag to it. But it works fine. B-

Well, I guess I do share some passion in opinion when it comes to jersey numbers for certain players… either way it’s clear that the football season needs to start already!

Photo credits go to Gators Football and UF. All designs and photos are owned by them.

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