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2008 Football Roster

35
Ahmad Black

S

Height
5' 9"
CLASS
SO
Hometown
Lakeland
Weight
190 lbs.
Experience
1L
School
Lakeland
Ahmad Black

Selected with the 20th pick of the fifth round (151st overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

 

CAREER: Appeared in 48 games, making 39 starts...Has recorded 244 total tackles, including 142 solo, with 13 interceptions and 15 passes broken up... Finished his career first in the SEC and tied for sixth nationally among active players with 13 career interceptions…Completed his career tied for first in the country among active players in interceptions returned for touchdowns (3)…Led the team in 2010 with 108 tackles, 32 more than any other teammate…Ranked second on the team in 2009 with 70 tackles… Converted to safety after his freshman season and started all 14 games at strong safety during the Gators’ 2008 BCS National Championship run...Tied for the lead nationally with seven interceptions in 2008.

 

HONORS: 2011 Outback Bowl Most Valuable Player…2010 AP Second-Team All-American…2010 Rivals.com First-Team All-American…2010 Sports Illustrated Honorable Mention All-American…2010 Consensus First-Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, Phil Steele)…2010 SEC Football Community Service Team…2009 Phil Steele Fourth-Team All-SEC…2009 AP Honorable Mention All-SEC…2008 Coaches’ Second-Team All-SEC…2008 AP Second-Team All-SEC…2008 Sports Illustrated Honorable Mention All-American…2008 College Football News Second-Team All-Sophomore.

 

2010: One of four UF seniors selected to the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl...Named Second Team All-America by the Associated Press, First Team All-America by Rivals.com and honorable mention All-America by Sports Illustrated…A Consensus First-Team All-SEC pick by the coaches’, AP and Phil Steele…Named to the SEC Football Community Service Team…Named to the Phil Steele Midseason All-American Fourth Team…Tied for sixth in the country for defensive backs with a team-leading 108 tackles (fifth in the SEC, first among SEC defensive backs)…Tied for fourth in the country and first in the SEC for most interceptions in a game (2 each vs. USF and Penn State)… One of just eight players nationally to have multiple two-interception games in 2010…Led the team with five interceptions and 171 interception-return yards…Recorded at least six tackles in 10 of 13 games…Was named the MVP of the 2011 Outback Bowl in his final game as a Gator after recording two interceptions and six tackles, including an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown to seal the win for UF in Urban Meyer’s last game…Tallied a secondary-high six tackles in the game at FSU…Recovered his second career fumble and collected three tackles in his last game at The Swamp vs. Appalachian State, grading out a Champion…Registered a career-high 16 tackles, including a career-best three for loss, at home vs. South Carolina…Forced a fumble in his second-consecutive game, while recording five tackles (four solo, one for loss) in the triumph at Vanderbilt…Notched a team-high 12 tackles (two for loss), including a career high-tying one sack and one forced fumble, grading out a Champion in the overtime win in Jacksonville over Georgia…Recorded a team-high 10 tackles and a pass breakup against Mississippi State at home…Registered a career-high 13 tackles at home vs. LSU, along with his first career fumble recovery…Tallied a secondary-best seven tackles, along with his first career forced fumble against Alabama…Registered a secondary-high six tackles in the victory vs. Kentucky, grading out a Champion…Recorded four tackles, including one for loss, in the win over Tennessee…Recorded his second and third interceptions of the season, 10th and 11th of his career, both in the final minute of the second quarter against USF. Black previously intercepted two passes against Hawaii in 2008… The last time a Gator had intercepted two passes in a single game was A.J. Jones on Oct. 31, 2009, against Georgia…Tied a career high with two interceptions in the win against USF, while also recording eight tackles, leading the team for the second-straight week…Graded out as a Champion vs. USF and was named the defensive player of the game…Collected a career-high 12 tackles and returned an interception for 40 yards in the season opener vs. Miami University…Graded out as a Champion vs. Miami University…12 tackles in the season opener against Miami University tied for the best in the Southeastern Conference during the first weekend of competition.

 

2009: Earned Fourth-Team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele and Honorable Mention AP All-SEC...Ranked second on the team and led all defensive backs with 70 total tackles (36 solo)...Made five tackles and broke up two passes in the Sugar Bowl win against Cincinnati...Had eight tackles (seven solo) and tallied his first career QB sack for a loss of 10 yards against Alabama at the SEC Championship Game. Also added one QB hurry against the Crimson Tide...Totaled five tackles against Vanderbilt...Led the UF secondary with eight tackles (four solo), including 0.5 for a loss of a yard in the SEC win over Georgia...Notched four tackles (one solo) and a pass break- up in the win at Mississippi State...Tied for the team lead with six tackles in the win over Arkansas...Tallied five tackles, including 0.5 for a loss of a yard in the win at LSU...Finished second among Gators with 11 total tackles (five solo), while also collecting his first interception of the season to seal the 23-13 win against Tennessee...Tied for first among teammates, led defensive backs, with five total tackles (two solo) in the win over Troy.

 

2008: Started every game at strong safety for the Gators, totaling 59 tackles and a team-leading seven interceptions...Named second-team All-SEC by the leagues’ coaches and honorable mention All-SEC by the Associated Press...Earned Sports Illustrated All-American Honorable Mention recognition...Named a second-team All-Sophomore performer by College Football News...In the BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma, he made his seventh interception of the season, tying him for the most in the nation...He returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns, tied for most in the country, and had 191 return yards, second-most in the nation...His 80-yard interception return for a touchdown against Hawaii was the third-longest by any player in the SEC in records dating back to 1996 and was the 11th-longest returned for a TD by any player in the nation...Recorded seven tackles in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama...Tied for the team lead with six tackles at Florida State...Intercepted a pass and returned it 64 yards in the win over Georgia...Returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the third quarter against Kentucky...In his first career start in the season opener against Hawaii, he intercepted two passes, including one returned 80 yards for his first career touchdown.

 

2007: Saw action in seven contests at cornerback as a true freshman...Dressed but did not see game action versus Ole Miss, Auburn, LSU, Kentucky and Michigan...Collected seven total tackles in his first season with the Gators...Led all freshmen in tackles in the game versus Troy with five...Notched one tackle each versus Georgia and Florida Atlantic.

 

PRIOR TO FLORIDA: Helped Lakeland extend its winning streak to 45 games, as the squad claimed its third-consecutive Class 5A state championship and second-straight USA Today national championship in 2006...As a senior, he made 82 tackles, totaled four interceptions and broke up eight passes...Recorded 75 tackles, six interceptions and 11 passes broken up as junior for the Dreadnaughts...As a sophomore, made 71 tackles and intercepted 10 passes...Chose to attend Florida over Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State and Nebraska...High school football coach was Bill Castle...Was the second-leading scorer on his school’s basketball team as a senior.

 

MAJOR: Recreation Programming.

 

BLACK’S CAREER HIGHS

Tackles: 16 (vs. South Carolina, 2010)

QB Sacks: 1 (2x, last vs. Georgia, 2010)

Fumble Recovery: 1 (2x, last vs. Appalachian State, 2010

Forced Fumbles: 1, 3x, last at Vanderbilt, 2010)

Interceptions: 2 (3x, last vs. Penn State, 2010)

 

CAREER DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

Year

UT-AT

TT

TBL

QBS

FF

FR

PD

INT

2007

6-1

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

2008

27-32

59

0.5

0

0

0

5

7

2009

36-34

70

2.5

1

0

0

5

1

2010

73-35

108

11

1

3

2

5

5

Totals:

142-102

244

14

2

3

2

15

13

 

PROFILE

·         In the 2006 FHSAA State Championship game against Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, Black made a fourth-down, game-saving tackle on the goal line to propel Lakeland to a Class 5A state title and a mythical high school football national championship.

·         Black also made a key interception in Florida’s 2009 FedEx BCS National Championship Game to help the Gators to the national championship title. Both plays – the interception against Oklahoma and the tackle against St. Thomas – happened at Dolphin Stadium

·         Favorite movie is “Boyz in the Hood”

·         Has a tattoo on his left bicep that says, “Mama’s Boy”

·         Member of the 2006 Lakeland High 5A State Championship team, along with current teammates Mike Pouncey and Steven Wilks

·         Tries to coach the freshman as much as the coaches do. On the night of the season opener, coaches paired him with first-time starter Jelani Jenkins in the team hotel and they spent most of the night talking football and different defensive scenarios

·         Cousin of Tennessee’s CB Art Evans. Grew up with him in Lakeland

·         Aunt was a cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he grew up around the team

 

QUOTES

“For a player who delivers and catches so many big blows, Black has displayed amazing resiliency and durability, both on special teams and in the secondary. While Black leaves with a national championship ring, the legacy of his consistency and tireless effort in these tumultuous times shines even brighter. Each time when the need arose for a big play, it seemed that No. 35 was in the neighborhood. A touchdown-saving tackle, a fumble recovery, a pass play broken up, an interception, or maybe just a well-timed word of encouragement to a struggling teammate.” (1/2/11)

Buddy Martin, GatorCountry.com

 

“Florida's senior safety ended his career as one of the greatest defensive backs in school history.” (1/2/11)

Edward Aschoff, Gainesville Sun

 

"That man, he turned himself from a non-player to an All-American player. He makes a lot of plays for us and he deserves every bit of credit he gets." (1/1/11)

Mike Pouncey, UF center

 

"Ahmad Black is one of my closest friends. I can call him friend now because he's not my player. He's not only arguably my best player, he's the best safety in college football. "Ahmad Black was not the Ahmad Black when we got him four years ago. Ahmad Black has turned into a grown man. A grown man that is going to pay taxes someday. A grown man who is going to have a family someday. He's going to be

a great father, a great husband because Ahmad Black is a grown man now.” (1/1/11)

Urban Meyer, UF Head Coach

 

"You can't ask for much more from a guy. When he went down, I knew he was going to stay out there. I've been with Ahmad for four years, and I know how he plays. He's not a guy who stays down. If he's hurt, he's going to come back in. Even if it's on one leg and three fingers, he's going to play. Ahmad has been great for me since we got here as freshmen,” Hicks said. “In the dorms or watching film, just being around each other we built a lot of character. I want to see him on Sundays and capitalizing on everything. His leadership was great for all of us. No player on this team can say anything less than the fact that they respect Ahmad Black for everything he does." (1/1/11)

Brandon Hicks, UF linebacker

 

"I'm just glad hard work paid off for me. I put all my trust in the coaches that they would get me better and get me to this level of playing that I'm at. I did a little bit of everything this year.” (12/15/10)

Ahmad Black, UF safety, on being named an AP All-American

 

"As a freshman, I got told to go get Gatorades for the whole position group. Trying to get a rep at practice was like pulling teeth. To go from that, where I was, to where I’m at now is just a tremendous opportunity. I thank God for everything I got. I thank the coaches: Coach [Chuck] Heater for sticking by me and Coach Meyer for being there from day one. I’m going to tell them to try and be better than me. You don’t want to be like me, you always want to be better. Especially go hard. Every time you get a rep, lay like it’s your last.” (11/20/10)

Ahmad Black, UF safety

 

"I had a pro scout tell me that [he is the best tackler in college football] today. He’s got a gift for it. He’s an athletic guy. He’s really athletic. […] First off, he’s tough. If a guy doesn’t want to make a tackle, all that other stuff doesn’t really matter. Some guys don’t want to make a tackle. He’s a tough guy. Then it becomes just that ability to weave himself through people and around people and make plays the way he does. He’s extraordinary. Anybody who watches football can appreciate the quality player that he is now. He was one of those tag-a-long guys out of Lakeland. Too small, too this, too that. The reality is he was really a tremendous player once he had the opportunity to go show it. We’re proud of him, and it’s amazing what he’s accomplished. He has always been a great kid. Happy with a smile on his face. He’s grown, he’s matured. He takes care of his business a little bit better than he used to when he was younger. Very accountable guy, which is what you hope happens by the time a guy leaves out of here. You hope he’s learned how to grow and be an accountable guy, and he has been." (11/18/10)

Chuck Heater, UF Safeties Coach

 

“Outstanding. One of the best I’ve seen. Outstanding. One of the best. Period. Outstanding. He’s a good open field tackler, and when he squares you up, he will hit you. He’s stumped guys. He’s good, he’s really good. He looks like a player. He’s not going to pass all the height, weight, speed little contests. But when you put on the film, boy he is a football player. It only takes one team to like you, that’s all it takes. And somebody will like him; he’s too good not to like. When you put on the game tape, I’d be hard pressed to find a better safety.” (11/18/10)

Teryl Austin, UF Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach

 

""I had to go out and show people that size isn't everything. I go out there and try to prove my doubters wrong. I regret nothing about this whole ride. I enjoyed everything about it. I met some great people, some great players. I'm just enjoying it. I'm just living the moment. I'm having a lot of fun. It's probably the most fun year I've had here. It's sad that it's coming to an end." (11/16/10)

Ahmad Black, UF safety

 

"From an individual standpoint, this has been Black's season in Gainesville. There is really no debate among the UF players and coaches: Black has been the Gators' best defensive player this season. And he's a captain and THE leader of the defense." (11/16/10)

Robbie Andreu, Gainesville Sun

 

"Great, great player. Arguably one of the most mature players we've had around here, and to say that about that young man, that just gives great credit for him and his family. He's one of the best I've ever been around as far as a football player and a leader. He's a dynamic football player. (Black) is a guy who has developed into the best. I think he's the best strong safety in college football." (11/15/10)

Urban Meyer, UF Head Coach

 

"He has the biggest heart I've ever seen. He's what a true leader is. He's going to go out and play every play like it's his last. He's a player I'm glad to be around." (11/15/10)

Brandon Hicks, UF linebacker

 

“That's why we saw Ahmad Black play, well, let's put it this way — he has no rear end because he played it off Saturday night.” (10/31/10)

Pat Dooley, Gainesville Sun, on Black’s 12-tackle (one sack) performance vs. Georgia

 

"I love being on this team. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Despite the three losses, I enjoy my team, the coaches — I'd do anything for them. I love being a Gator, even though the time’s winding down. I’m enjoying my days here.” (10/22/10)

Ahmad Black, UF safety

 

“It’s really good for our team to have a guy like that, because consistently when he lines up you know what you're going to get. I’ll tell you what, so far he’s had a phenomenal year. He is all over the place. He is what you call a football player. He’s not super-big, he’s not super-fast, he’s not the most flashy, but he’s always around the football.” (10/22/10)

Teryl Austin, UF Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach

 

“Initially, we all had our eyes raised, but since then, he’s turned into a really consistent player. He hasn’t had many bad days around here. At the beginning, no one would’ve bought a lot of stock in him.” (9/16/10)

Chuck Heater, UF Safeties Coach

 

“He brings leadership, juice. He keeps everybody going. When it’s time to make a big play, he’ll make it.” (9/16/10)

Janoris Jenkins, UF cornerback

 

“Black is the Manny Pacquiao of college football. There are certainly bigger and faster football players around, but pound-for-pound and blow-for-blow Black is one of the best in the game.” (9/8/10)

Joe Goodman, Miami Herald

 

“Ahmad is a great player and a great leader. I'm actually really good friends with him even off the field. I'm confident going into the game knowing he's behind me. Ahmad is the perfect person to trust. He's always going to be in the right spot at the right time.'' (9/8/10)

Janoris Jenkins, UF cornerback

 

“That little guy is a good player. Sometimes there are small guys who play small, but he's not. He's a small guy who plays big and that's important.” (9/8/10)

Teryl Austin, UF Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach

 

“The glowing smile is still there, but Black is more capable of packing a punch with his bulked up 5-foot-9, 190-pound frame that features bulging biceps he didn't have when he arrived at UF from Lakeland High School. More importantly, he's risen to become a true leader of a defense that has only one senior in the secondary.” (8/10/10)

Tom Zebold, Lakeland Ledger

 

“He's one of the hardest working guys we have, and we have a bunch of hard-working guys.” (8/10/10)

Teryl Austin, UF Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach

 

“I am trying to step up - I have to. I am one of the few seniors that we have on defense and one of the guys that has been there for a while. It is my job to help these young guys and help them do what they are supposed to do.” (8/10/10)

Ahmad Black, UF safety

 

“Good luck in finding a better safety tandem than Will Hill and Ahmad Black.” (7/28/10)

Chris Low, ESPN.com

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