Ring of Honor
For a player or coach to merit consideration for induction into the Gators Football Ring of Honor, at least one of the following criteria must be met. In addition, the individual must have been departed from UF for at least five seasons, and he must be in good standing with the institution.
Criteria to Merit Consideration
- Heisman Trophy Winners (Spurrier, Wuerffel)
- Former UF All-Americans Inducted into NFL Hall of Fame for Accomplishments as Players (Youngblood)
- Former UF All-Americans Who Are NFL Career Category Leaders (E. Smith – rushing)
- Collegiate Career Category Leaders
- Coaches with UF National Championships (Spurrier)
- Coaches with at least 3 UF SEC Championships (Spurrier)
- Players with 2 or more consensus All-American honors (AP, Walter Camp, Sporting News, AFCA, FWAA, UPI) who have also been named National Offensive/Defensive Players of Year (AP, Walter Camp, Sporting News, ABC, AFCA, FWAA, UPI)
The names of Gator legends Emmitt Smith, Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Jack Youngblood were unveiled on the Florida Football Ring of Honor in a special pre-game ceremony Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006. On September 29, 2007, two-time consensus All-American and 1983 National Defensive Player of the Year Wilber Marshall was inducted and became the fifth member of the Ring of Honor.
The name displays are each approximately 18-feet wide and five feet high, and are displayed at the top of the North Endzone of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Ring of Honor Members
A two-time consensus All-American and the 1983 National Defensive Player of the Year, Marshall played linebacker for the Gators from 1980-83… Originally from Titusville, Fla., he was a consensus first-team All-American in 1982 and 1983 and also earned Honorable Mention All-America honors in 1981…ABC Television selected him as the National Defensive Player of the Year in 1983…Finalist for the Lombardi Award in both his junior and senior seasons…One of his most memorable games as a Gator occurred in a 17-9 upset win over Southern Cal on Sept. 11, 1982, when he made 14 tackles and collected four sacks on his way to Sports Illustrated and Associated Press Defensive Player of the Week recognition…Finished his career with 343 tackles (210 solo), including a school-record 23 quarterback sacks…Was selected in 1999 as The Gainesville Sun's Defensive Player of the Century…First-round draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 1984 and enjoyed a 12-year career in the NFL…Was a three-time All-Pro selection (1986, '87 and '92) and also earned a pair of Super Bowl rings with Chicago and Washington…In the 1985 season, he was part of a Bears' defensive unit which allowed the fewest yards, rushing yards and points per game in the NFL…Chicago notched two playoff shutouts and allowed only 10 points in three postseason games as they knocked off the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX…Won another championship ring with the Redskins in the 1991 season, when they handled the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI…In the NFC Championship Game that season, he sacked Detroit Lions' quarterback Erik Kramer three times in the Redskins' 41-10 victory….During his dozen NFL seasons, Marshall recorded 45 sacks and intercepted 23 passes, which he returned for 304 yards and three touchdowns…Recovered 16 fumbles, returning them for 70 yards and one touchdown…Among the few players who have recorded 20 sacks and 20 interceptions in their career…Has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
A unanimous first-team All-America selection, Smith finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1989 and ninth in 1987…Three-time first-team All-Southeastern Conference pick…SEC Player of the Year in 1989… SEC Freshman of the Year in 1987… Will officially be enshrined at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., during ceremonies next summer…Broke 58 school records en route to rushing for 3,928 yards and 36 touchdowns in only three seasons as a Gator…Rushed for 1,599 yards and 16 scores as a junior…First-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 1990…Enjoyed 15 seasons in the NFL with the Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals… The NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 18,355 career yards, 164 touchdowns and three Super Bowl rings…Led the NFL in rushing four times (1991-93, 1995) and rushing touchdowns three times (1992, 1994, 1995)…NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1993, the MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII and made eight Pro Bowls throughout his career…Rushed 71 times for 289 yards, caught 11 passes for 56 yards and scored five touchdowns in three Super Bowls… His five rushing touchdowns are a career Super Bowl record, and his 175 total touchdowns rank him second to only Jerry Rice's 207 scores…Sum of his rushing yards, receiving yards (3,224) and fumble return yards (-15), gave him a total of 21,564 yards from the line of scrimmage, making him one of only four players in NFL history to eclipse the 21,000-combined yards mark.
The 1966 Heisman Trophy winner, Spurrier earned All-America status in 1965 and 1966 (unanimous) …Shattered every school record at the time for game, season and career in passing and total offense on his way to establishing numerous SEC marks…Completed 392 passes for 4,848 yards and 36 touchdowns in his UF career…With the deadline for the Heisman ballots looming, Spurrier booted a game-winning 40-yard field goal to defeat Auburn… Compiled a 122-27-1 record from 1990-2001, the most wins for a Gator coach in school history and a winning percentage (.817) that ranked among the top three in SEC history…The 1996 season saw the team reach the pinnacle of the college football world and capture its first-ever National Championship with a 52-20 win over rival Florida State in the Sugar Bowl… Led the Gators to six SEC titles (1991, 1993-96, 2000), second only to Paul "Bear Bryant," and was a three-time SEC Coach of the Year recipient…Only coach in SEC history, and one of only two coaches in major college history, to lead a squad to six-straight seasons of 10 or more wins (1993-98) and is the only coach in SEC history… Achieved 100 career victories at Florida in a faster time period (10th season, eighth game) than any major college coach at a school in the 20th century…One of only five major college coaches in history and only the second in SEC annals, to lead a school to 100 wins during a decade (102-22-1 at UF from 1990-99)…Coached UF to back-to-back National Championship Game appearances (1995 and 1996) and his UF squads finished in the Top 10 of the polls nine times, including six times in the final top five… Became the first person to have both won a Heisman Trophy and to have coached a Heisman Trophy winner (Wuerffel in 1996).
Perhaps the most decorated player in Florida's football history, Wuerffel won the 1996 Heisman Trophy while quarterbacking the Gators to the consensus national championship…Led the Orange and Blue to four SEC titles and a pair of national championship games…Only Heisman Trophy recipient to receive the Draddy Scholarship Trophy, which is presented by the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete…First-team All-America selection in 1995 and 1996 and two-time recipient of the O’Brien National Quarterback of the Year Award in those same campaigns…Completed his Gator career completing 708 of 1,170 passes for 10,875 yards with 114 TD passes, best in SEC history and second-most in major college history…Career pass efficiency rating of 163.56 was the best in major college history and his percentage of passes which went for a TD (9.74) ranked first in collegiate history… In 1995, his efficiency rating of 178.4 set a single-season collegiate record…During his Heisman-winning season of 1996, he completed 207 of 360 passes for 3,625 yards (an SEC record at the time) for 39 TDs (leading the nation and tops in SEC history) and his efficiency rating of 170.6 made him the first QB to ever post a rating of 170 or better in back-to-back years…Named to the Gainesville Sun’s UF Team of the Century in 1999 and was chosen the century’s top Gator offensive player by that publication.
Regarded as best defensive end in Gator history… Named to All-SEC team for decade of the 1970’s, he was a rugged competitor who went on to become an All-Pro star with the Los Angeles Rams after being a first-round draft selection in 1971… Participated in the 1971 Senior Bowl game and was chosen as the event's Most Outstanding Player…Was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992 and became the first player from Florida to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2001… After leading the team in with 66 tackles in 1969, he made All-America the following season and pulled off one of the greatest plays in Florida history… With the Gators trailing Georgia, 17-10, and the Bulldogs positioned on UF's 1-yard line, Youngblood stopped a UGA running back short of the goal line… Knocked the ball out of the player's grasp and recovered it as the Gators notched a come-from-behind 24-17 victory… The Rams’ defensive captain, he was a three-time winner of the Dan Reeves Award given to that team’s Most Valuable Player each season… Was All-Pro in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, and 1979 and All-NFC seven times… Played in seven-straight Pro Bowls following each season from 1973 to 1979…Rams played in five NFC championship games and advanced to Super Bowl XIV following the 1979 season…Suffered a fractured left fibula in a first-round playoff game that year…Was fitted with a plastic brace and he played every defensive down in both the NFC title game and Super Bowl XIV against the Pittsburgh Steelers…Played in a Rams’ record 201 consecutive games and only missed one game in 14 seasons, that one miss coming in his final year in 1984.