For the second-straight season, two linemen represent Florida on the conference team Rookie Jawaan Taylor has been a mainstay on the Gator offensive line, starting every game but one. BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Linemen Jawaan Taylor and Jabari Zuniga have been named to the Coaches’ Freshman All-SEC team, the Southeastern Conference announced Thursday. Both were instrumental in guiding Florida to its second-straight SEC East title.
This is the second-consecutive year that both of Florida’s All-Freshman selections were an offensive and defensive lineman. In 2015, Martez Ivey and Cece Jefferson were picked to the team.
Taylor started every game but one at right tackle, providing what head coach Jim McElwain described as "infectious energy" to the offensive line. He helped running backs Lamical Perine and Jordan Scarlett to a combined five games of 100 rushing yards.
Zuniga made three starts at defensive end and has played in every other game this season. He led Florida with five sacks, becoming the first UF freshman since Huey Richardson in 1987 to total five sacks in a season. Zuniga anchored a Gator defensive unit that tied for 10 th in the country in points allowed per game (17.9).
Florida (8-4) accepted an invitation on Sunday from the Outback Bowl to play Iowa (8-4) on Jan. 2 in Tampa. The schools have met three times previously with the last two meetings coming in the Outback Bowl. The Gators are ranked No. 20 in the latest AP Top 25 released Sunday, and Iowa is No. 21. Florida checked in at 17 th , and Iowa was unranked in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Florida and Iowa first played 33 years ago when the Gators beat the Hawkeyes 14-6 in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. Twenty years passed before they met again, a 37-17 Iowa victory after the 2003 season. Two years later, the Gators avenged that loss in Urban Meyer’s first season at UF with a 31-24 victory.
The Gator Ticket Office began taking ticket orders for the 2017 Outback Bowl on Monday, Dec. 5. All season ticket holders can order online at FloridaGators.com/tickets , visit the Gator Ticket Office or call their order in.
The complete Coaches’ Freshman All-SEC team is as follows:
Isaac Nauta, Georgia
Jonah Williams, Alabama
Jawaan Taylor , Florida
Greg Little, Ole Miss Logan Stenberg, KentuckyC Erik McCoy, Texas A&MWR Dimetrios Mason, Missouri Van Jefferson, Ole MissQB Jalen Hurts, AlabamaRB Benny Snell, Jr., Kentucky Trayveon Williams, Texas A&MAP Jonathan Johnson, Missouri DEFENSE DL Jabari Zuniga , Florida Marlon Davidson, Auburn Ed Alexander, LSU McTelvin Agim, Arkansas* Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State*LB Leo Lewis, Mississippi State Devin White, LSU De’Jon Harris, ArkansasDB Javaris Davis, Auburn Nigel Warrior, Tennessee Ronnell Perkins, Missouri Jaylon Jones, Ole Miss SPECIAL TEAMS PK Rodrigo Blankenship, GeorgiaP Josh Growden, LSURS Jonathan Johnson, Missouri* indicates a tie