Byron "Bam" Hardmon
A true senior...Four-time letterwinner and veteran leader on the Gator defense...Was signed by the Miami Dolphins.
CAREER: Played in 48 games with 25 starts for 2,287 plays...Also played in the 2000 Citrus Bowl, 2001 Sugar Bowl and 2002 Orange Bowl...A three-time (2000-02) SEC Academic Honor Roll selection...Selected to the 2002 AP All-SEC Second-Team ...Honorable Mention All-SEC by the league coaches...257 tackles (158 solo) and 34 "Big Plays" (11 pass deflections, eight forced hurries, seven TBL's, three forced fumbles, three interceptions and two quarterback sacks)...
2002: Ranked fourth in the nation in tackles... Florida's leading tackler who started all 13 games...Started season at weakside linebacker for the first two games (UAB, Miami) and moved to inside linebacker to solidify the Gator defense...Selected to the AP All-SEC Second-Team......Honorable Mention All-SEC by the league coaches...Led the linebacking unit with 931 plays, ranking fifth on the defense and 11th overall on the team...Finished the season with 168 tackles, including 104 solo hits...Led or tied the defense in solo tackles 10 of 13 games...Had 10 or more tackles in each game, averaged almost 13 hits (12.9) per game...Surpassed 2001 season tackle totals in just four games...Picked of Heisman candidate Ken Dorsey for an interception, and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown...Reset his career high in total tackles in back-to-back games vs. Miami and Ohio...Led the team with 15 tackles, including 10 unassisted, in win over Georgia...Recorded a career-high 19 tackles vs. South Carolina, the highest of any Gator in 2002...Recipient of the 2002 Fergie Ferguson Award, given to the team's outstanding leader...Named UF's "Most Outstanding Linebacker"...Named a game captain three times (Tennessee, Ohio, Georgia)...Named to the Butkas Award Watch List...Named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll...
2001: A true junior who manned the top spot at strongside linebacker...Started nine of 11 regular season games (all but Marshall and Georgia) and played in the Orange Bowl...Participated in 492 plays, second most among linebackers...Special teams duties included work on kick-off, kick-off return and punt teams...Missed last half of spring drills with a foot stress fracture...Totaled 42 tackles, including 13 on special teams and five "Big Plays" (two tackles for loss, two pass deflections and one forced hurry)...42 tackles ranked tied for 10th on the squad and ranked fourth best for a linebacker...13 special teams tackles ranked tied for third on the squad...Named to SEC Academic Honor Roll...
2000: A true sophomore who battled Marcus Oquendo-Johnson for the top spot at strong-side linebacker throughout the year...Played in all 12 regular season games with four starts (Ball State, Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi State) and played in the Nokia Sugar Bowl...632 snaps was tops for a linebacker and sixth most on defensive squad...A SEC Academic Honor Roll selection...44 total tackles (33 solo), with 10 "Big Plays" (4 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, 1 tackle for loss, 2 interceptions, 2 forced hurries)...44 tackles ranked second best for a linebacker and seventh best overall on squad...10 "Big Plays" ranked second best among linebackers...Received defensive unit's hustle award after spring drills...
1999: Moved into a top role at strongside linebacker with knee injury to Eugene McCaslin...Played a great deal in SEC Championship Game after McCaslin suffered the injury...Also saw duty on special teams...Played in all 12 regular season games for 200 plays...Also played in Citrus Bowl...Three tackles and three "Big Plays" (two pass deflections, one forced hurry)...Recorded first career tackle vs. UCF and also recorded three "Big Plays" (two pass deflections, one forced hurry)...
PREP: One of the state's elite linebackers in '98 who garnered All-America recognition...Named to SuperPrep's All-America Team and that publication ranked him among the nation's top six linebackers...Named to PrepStar's All-America Team...Named to National Bluechips All-America Team and that publication ranked him among the nation's top three prospects at strongside linebacker...Named to National Recruiting Advisor's All-America Team and that publication ranked him among the nation's top six players at strongside linebacker...Named Jacksonville's Defensive Player of the Year as a junior in '97...In '98 posted 127 tackles (68 solo) and caused five fumbles while gaining first-team all-state honors (5A)...Credited with nine defensive touchdowns scored during prep career...High school coach was Dan Disch...Also visited Florida State, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia...
PERSONAL: Born Byron Bernard Hardmon on January 7, 1981 in Jacksonville, Florida...Enjoys playing basketball in his spare time...Favorite sports personality is Junior Seau...Parents: Alvin and Linda McNealy...
Total Tackles: 19 (South Carolina, 2002)
QB Sacks: 1 (twice, last vs. LSU, 2002)
Forced Fumbles: 2 (2000)