15 – Wayne Peace
15 days to Florida Gator football! You know what that means–it’s time for everyone’s favorite #15, Wayne Peace! I know. Everyone expected a different #15 to be highlighted, but I wanted to take this time to highlight a lesser known Gator, Wayne Lamar Peace of Lakeland, Florida. At one time, Wayne owned the NCAA record for single-season completion percentage with 70.7% (broken a year later by Steve Young of Brigham Young). He was not known as a downfield passer, but he knew how to work with the talent around him by stretching the field horizontally with high percentage passes. His most memorable pass, a game winner over Miami on September 4, 1982, was nicknamed “the Catch” (not to be confused with Joe Montana to Dwight Clark “the Catch” on January 10, 1982) by Gator fans due to the implications of beating such a powerful Miami team. It was probably called “the Catch”, because it certainly was too ugly to be known as “the Throw”–a fluttering duck that running back James Jones somehow snagged with one hand in the back of the Florida Field end zone to seal the 17-14 victory. Wayne still ranks 2nd in UF history with a career passing percentage of 61.6 for 7,206 yards.
Actual #1 Gator to wear jersey #15: Timothy Richard Tebow. What else can I say about the penultimate Florida Gator? 2X National champion. 2X All American. 3X All SEC. 2X SEC PoY. Heisman winner. Countless awards. A bronze statue outside the stadium. Future Florida hall of famer.
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