9 – Shane Matthews
Michael Shane Matthews of Cleveland and Pascagoula, Mississippi, had the distinct honor of being Gator savior, Steve Spurrier‘s first starting quarterback (despite a few missteps his first year on campus). On the right arm of Shane, Darth Visor rebuilt the Gator football program. He quarterbacked the team to an SEC-best 9-2 record, but the Gators were not eligible for the SEC championship due to NCAA and school sanctions. In the following year, he led the team to a 10-2 season, 7-0 SEC, and the Gators’ first official SEC Championship. He was first-team All-SEC in ’90, ’91, and ’92. He finished hiscollege career 722/1,202 attempts for 9,287 yards and 74 touchdowns, was a team captain and team MVP. He led the SEC in passing for three consecutive years (1990–1992), and finished with a career efficiency rating of 137.6. When he left UF, Matthews topped the Gator charts in rating, completions, attempts, yards, and touchdowns. He signed with the Chicago Bears in 1993 and played for several NFL teams until 2006. He was inducted as a Gator Great into the University of Florida Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2002. Shane goes back and forth nowadays between working in radio and coaching high school football.
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