Friday October 14, 2011Sturgis Named Midseason First-Team All-American, Five Gators Earn All-SEC
Gator kicker Caleb Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.) was named First-Team All-American in Phil Steele’s 2011 Midseason Awards, while linebacker Jon Bostic (Wellington, Fla.) earned Honorable Mention All-American.
Additionally, five Gators were named to the Midseason All-SEC team, with Sturgis leading the charge as the first-team kicker. Bostic, defensive lineman Jaye Howard (Apopka, Fla.) and offensive guard Dan Wenger (Coral Springs, Fla.) all earned second-team honors, and running back Chris Rainey (Lakeland, Fla.) was named to the third-team offense.
Sturgis has emerged as one of the nation’s premiere kickers, as he leads the FBS in field goals made (13) and is tied for fourth in points by a kicker (58). He opened the season by hitting his first 12 straight field goals, the longest streak in the nation this season, before missing a 52-yarder against Alabama. He is currently 13-for-14 (.929) in field goals and a perfect 19-for-19 in PAT. The redshirt junior started the scoring this season for the Gators with a 51-yard field goal in the first quarter versus Florida Atlantic, becoming the sixth kicker in UF history to make at least three 50-yard field goals in his career. Additionally, the St. Augustine native has taken all 39 kickoffs this season, averaging 66.6 yards per kick with eight touchbacks and just one kick out of bounds for a total of 2,597 yards.
Junior linebacker Bostic leads the Florida defense and ranks 12th in the SEC in tackles, totaling 42 on the season with an average of 7.00 per game. He has a team-leading 3.0 sacks for 22 yards, which ranks seventh in the conference. The Wellington native has 5.0 tackles for loss, totaling a team-high 39 yards, which ranks him 16th in the SEC with .83 per game. Bostic has had double-digit tackles twice this season, including a career-high 13 tackles and a sack at No. 1 LSU. He also had 10 tackles, eight solo, at Kentucky, while forcing his first career fumble.
Howard joins Bostic on the second-team defense, and sits in fourth on the team with 27 tackles this season. He has 2.5 tackles for a loss of 20 yards, including 1.5 sacks for 17 yards. The redshirt senior is the only Gator this season to return a fumble recovery, catching the ball in midair on the 2-yard line at Kentucky and running it in for his first career touchdown. He is one of three defensive tackles in the nation, and the only one in the SEC, to return a ball for a touchdown.
Wenger transferred to Florida prior to this season after spending five years at Notre Dame, playing three seasons at center and guard for the Irish. He has started all six games this season for the Gators at left guard. A former member of Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis’ offense at Notre Dame, Wenger quickly found himself a role as a ‘player-coach’ for the Gators, helping his teammates to learn Coach Weis’ pro-style offense during preseason. Wenger was the only senior out of the 11 offensive linemen to play in the season opener, and he has led the Gators’ O-Line to second in the SEC and 24th in the nation with just six sacks allowed in six games. Wenger’s offensive line has allowed one sack or less in five of the six games this season.
Rainey is having a breakout season at running back, leading the Gators with 467 rushing yards and 245 receiving yards for a total of 712 yards from scrimmage, which ranks 24th in the country and 16th among the nation’s running backs. His 245 receiving yards rank him fifth in the FBS and first in the SEC among running backs. Rainey is one of two players in the nation to lead his team in both rushing and receiving yards, and he is the only player to hold that stat every week of the season. The redshirt senior became the first Gator since 1997 to have three 100-yard rushing games in a row, doing so against UAB, Tennessee and Kentucky. Against Tennessee, he also racked up 104 receiving yards, making him the second player in the nation this season and the second Gator in UF history to tally a 100-yard rushing and receiving effort in a game. In the season opener against Florida Atlantic, the Lakeland native scored a 14-yard rushing touchdown, a 14-yard receiving touchdown and returned a blocked punt 22 yards for a touchdown to become the first player in Florida history and the third in the nation since 1996 to score a rushing, receiving and return touchdown in the same game.
The Gators continue their road trip this weekend as they head to Auburn, Ala., to take on the No. 24 Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN at 7 p.m.
2011 Phil Steele Midseason All-America Team
K – Caleb Sturgis
LB – Jon Bostic
2011 Phil Steele Midseason All-SEC Team
K – Caleb Sturgis
OG – Dan Wenger
LB – Jon Bostic
DL – Jaye Howard
RB – Chris Rainey