What It Means to Be a Gator: Urban Meyer and Florida's Greatest Players

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9781600781162: What It Means to Be a Gator: Urban Meyer and Florida's Greatest Players

Taking a decade-by-decade approach to the University of Florida football tradition, this collection brings together over 40 stories from the most outstanding voices of the program. The spirit of Gators football is not captured by just one phrase, one season, or one particular game; instead, the student-athletes and coaches who made the magic happen over the decades blend their experiences to capture the true essence of their beloved school. From Danny Wuerfful and the shotgun formation in the Sugar Bowl to Tim Tebow and his transition to a full-time starter as a sophomore, Florida fans will relish the intimate stories told by the figures they have come to cherish.

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From the Publisher:

"I feel so proud and happy and blessed to have been a Gator football player. It was the best decision I ever made."
--Burton Lawless

"Playing at Florida really provided me with memories for a lifetime."
--Kerwin Bell

"It's funny because in the pros, the only guys who really care about their college are the guys who went to school in Florida."
--Jeff Chandler

"I want kids to graduate, win championships, and be blessed enough to play professional football. When people think about the Florida Gators, that's what I want them to see."
--Urban Meyer, from the foreword

From the Inside Flap:

Since the University of Florida football program began, Gators fans had been waiting. They had cheered through decades of rebuilding; they had suffered through first-place finishes that were later ripped away; they believed that someday, some season, the "Year of the Gator" would come.

Prodigal son Steve Spurrier finally awoke the sleeping giant in the 1990s, when his Florida teams won six SEC titles and the 1996 national championship during his ultra-successful tenure as head coach at his alma mater. Who knew the year of the Gator would last a decade?

At last, Gators fans witnessed their devotion and the players' hard work pay off. And Urban Meyer has kept the winning tradition going, taking Florida to the 2006 BCS National Championship Game with his spread offense and believing what players and fans have known all along--that these players, this program, and this school are unique.

What It Means to Be a Gator gathers in one volume the stories and legends behind the transformation of the University of Florida into a football powerhouse. In the last two decades, Florida has become the program to emulate in college football. The school has produced more than 100 players who have earned All-America recognition since 1980, nearly 40 first-round selections in the NFL Draft, and three Heisman Trophy winners. Now, in their own words, some of the Gators' greatest players tell how they came to the university, how they struggled to make it onto the team, and how they ultimately achieved success.

Read how Don Gaffney took a heroic step in becoming the first African American to play quarterback at Florida, leading his team to three bowl games, in spite of receiving death threats. Learn how the teams of the 1990s completely changed the way college football is played in the Deep South, throwing the football all over the place with their "Fun `n' Gun" offense. And hear Tim Tebow describe what's it was like to win the Heisman Trophy and lead his team to the 2006 national championship.

While some Gators went on to NFL stardom, others found success in different ventures--but all credit the lessons learned and the challenges overcome playing football for the University of Florida as the foundation for their future triumphs.

For anyone who wants to learn or just reminisce about what it means to be a Gator, this book is a must-have addition to your library.

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