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42 days to Gator football! #42 Jevon "The Freak" Kearse

Discussion in 'Gator Football' started by Escambia94, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    #42 Jevon "The Freak" Kearse of Fort Myers, Florida played linebacker for Steve Spurrier's Gators from 1995-1998. The Freak was a physical marvel-- a 6’4″, 265-pound quarterback-sacking, ball-hawking, man-crushing machine with an 86-inch wingspan and blazing speed! He came to Gainesville as a prep All-American and member of the National Honor Society. Jevon started off as a 215-pound safety under Steve Spurrier, then hit a growth spurt and transitioned to linebacker after his redshirt year. He debuted at his new position of linebacker by recording six solo tackles and a sack on the way to his All-SEC Freshmen berth and the Gators’ 1996 National Championship! His moniker of "The Freak" was bestowed upon him by his SEC opponents in that 1996 championship season. Sadly, Jevon did not get much chance to enjoy the victory as his brother was killed in a shooting soon after the season ended. Jevon made the All-SEC team in 1997 thanks to his team high 6.5 sacks, 38 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. In his final year in the orange and blue, he once again led the team with 7.5 sacks with 54 tackles. Jevon was named named First-team All-American, First-team All-SEC, and AP SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Jevon was a finalist for the Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, and Chuck Bednarik college defensive player of the year awards. Jevon’s career stats include: 34.5 tackles for loss (11th on UF's all-time list), 145 total tackles, 16.5 sacks 6 forced fumbles, 1 interception, 1 recovered fumble, and 19 pass deflections.

    Jevon was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft as the first player drafted by the team after being renamed from the Houston Oilers. He was NFL Rookie of the Month throughout the majority of the 2000 season, and was credited with a safety in the game known as "the Music City Miracle". He was second in balloting for AP Defensive Player of the Year and was named All-Pro as a rookie defensive end. His team made it to Super Bowl XXXIV, but the Titans lost to the St. Louis Rams. Jevon's 14.5 sacks in his rookie season is still an NFL record. In 2001 he was joined by former Gator Kevin Carter as he moved from left defensive end to right defensive end. In 2003 signed what was then a record-breaking contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2008 he returned to the Titans, where he played for two seasons before retiring. In his NFL career, he has accrued 313 tackles (240 solo, 73 assists), 74 sacks, 26 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries.

    Mr. Kearse is ranked as #16 among the top 100 greatest Gators from the first 100 years of Gator football. He is a member of the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame.
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  2. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    Would have been an NFL Hall of Famer if not for injuries.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Agreed. He still gets consideration from the HOF voters, but not enough to get him in.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    So many head-shaker moments! He and Wilbur Marshall stick out in my mind and memory for the inumerable times I found myself just laughing in stunned amazement at multiple moments in a game, where they just TOOK OVER.
     
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