Top 5 Florida quarterbacks of all time
The Florida Gators have had no shortage of premier quarterbacks who have racked up big passing numbers, Heisman Trophies and SEC Championships throughout history. Under Coach Steve Spurrier, especially, the Gators’ high-flying Fun ’N Gun reached new heights, and it helped make the SEC into the power it is today.
Picking just five quarterbacks in Florida history is a tough feat, especially knowing the school’s illustrious career with quarterbacks.
Let’s give this a shot…
5. Rex Grossman (1999-2002): “Sexy Rexy” Grossman blew into one of the best college quarterbacks in the country. The Indiana native was a boss on the field, and he executed Steve Spurrier’s offense to perfection. Following a redshirt season in 1999, Grossman beat out the No. 1 high school quarterback in the country in Brock Berlin (who eventually transferred to Miami). Grossman led the Gators to the SEC Championship and was named the game’s MVP in 2000. However, Grossman’s 2001 season was his best. He was a consensus first-team All-American, was named the AP Player of the Year and came in second in the Heisman voting behind Nebraska’s Eric Crouch. He finished his college career throwing for over 9,100 yards and 77 touchdowns.
4. Chris Leak (2003-06): After being named the No. 2 overall quarterback in the 2003 recruiting class, Chris Leak entered Florida with incredible hype. And it’s safe to say he delivered after becoming the Gators’ all-time leading passer with 11,213 yards during his four-year career. Leak also has the most career completions (895) of any Gator in history. It wasn’t until Urban Meyer took over Florida in 2005 that his career really began to blossom, and credit Meyer, as he tweaked his offense to fit Leak’s pro-style ability. Leak led Florida to an SEC Championship and a BCS National Championship during his final season as the Gators’ quarterback. He was named the BCS Championship Game’s MVP and exited Florida as a championship quarterback. Leak remains one of the most beloved Gator quarterbacks in history.
3. Steve Spurrier (1963-66): College football’s comeback kid, Steve Spurrier was known for bringing the Gators to victory in come-from-behind fashion. During his three-year career, Spurrier completed 392 of 692 passes for 4,848 yards and 37 touchdowns, breaking numerous school and conference records. Spurrier won the 1966 Heisman Trophy, as well as the Walter Camp Memorial Trophy. Spurrier is known for his incredible games as a quarterback, but his memorable 1966 game-winning field goal helped defeat Auburn 30-27. Long before the coach Steve Spurrier won conference championships and a national championship, the quarterback was one of the best signal callers in NCAA history.
2. Danny Wuerffel (1993-96): As Steve Spurrier’s protege on the field, Danny Wuerffel’s named is etched in Florida history. Perhaps Wuerffel is just as well known for his inspiring charitable works off the field, too, with Desire Street Ministries. The 1996 Heisman Trophy winner set a then school record with 10,875 career yards (later broken by Chris Leak) and 114 touchdown passes (SEC record later broken by UGA’s Aaron Murray). Wuerffel was named a First-Team All-American in 1995 and 1996 and was also named an Academic All-American in both seasons. Wuerffel led the Gators to the 1996 season’s national championship over rival Florida State. Wuerffel was also named the SEC’s Player of the Year in both 1995 and 1996.
1. Tim Tebow (2006-09): Coming at no surprise, Tim Tebow is the Gators’ all-time best quarterback in program history. And there’s no argument. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner was a finalist three years in a row and became the first sophomore to ever win the award. Tebow rewrote Florida’s and the SEC’s record books, even breaking Herschel Walker’s SEC record for rushing touchdowns. Tebow helped lead the Gators to two SEC Championships (2006 and 2008) and two BCS National Championships (2006 and 2008). Florida lost the 2009 SEC Championship Game to Alabama after entering as the No. 1 team in the country and the favorite to repeat. Tebow finished his college career with 9,286 passing yards and 88 passing touchdowns, and he rushed for 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns. His combined 145 touchdowns are an SEC record, and he became the first player in SEC history with 12,000 total offensive yards.