The Insane Story of the 2008 Florida Gators

By: Logan Hill

The 2008 Florida Gators were a team that went down in the History of College Football. National Champions, with the first ever Sophomore to win the Hesiman, Tim Tebow, leading the way. While they happened to have America’s Golden Boy, they also had a roster full of trouble-makers.

In a tweet first posted by NFL Memes, it was reported that 41 members of the 2008 Florida Gators Football Team had been arrested at some point. Just for reference, there were 121 players on that 2008 squad. So 41 of 121. That’s more than 33 percent of the roster! 

Even with the run-ins with the law, Florida was still littered with talent across the board. Tebow. Cam Newton. Percy Harvin. Joe Haden. Janoris Jenkins. Maurkice & Mike Pouncey. Carlos Dunlap. Brandon Spikes. Will Hill. Marcus Gilbert. Aaron Hernandez. Just a handful of players from the 2008 team that went on to play in the NFL. 

Hernandez, arguably the most troubled of the bunch, saw his NFL career end after he became the center of a 2013 murder investigation. Then, a member of the New England Patriots, Hernandez was waived by the team and later arrested and charged with first-degree murder. 

Despite the off-field antics that plagued the roster, the 2008 Gators were still one of the more dominant college teams in recent memory. 13-1, with six wins over top 25 opponents, including wins over then #3 LSU and #1 Alabama in the SEC Championship game. They closed their season with a 24-14 win over Oklahoma to win the BCS Championship. Regardless of the success, Head Coach Urban Meyer still faced criticism for his leniency, in part to the long list of arrests and misconduct under his tenure.

Gators Breakdown: Championship Rewind - 2008 National Championship | Burke,  McMillon commit
Photo courtesy of News4Jax

Flash-forward to 2021, 2008 seems like a distant memory. Most of the members of that 2008 team have now moved on from football, whether that was after college or the conclusion of their NFL careers. Meyer just recently got his first crack at an NFL gig, taking over as the Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s likely though, even if he is successful in Jacksonville, his time (and teams) back in Gainsville will never be forgotten.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: