Inside the Gators takes an in-depth look at Florida football just days before the start of the 2022 season. Here are our superlatives, predicted statistical category leaders, and our game-by-game predicted outcomes.
Who will be the Offensive MVP (not named Anthony Richardson)
De Los Santos: Justin Shorter – At an imposing 6-foot-4, 230-pounds, Shorter has both the size and the ability to make huge plays with Anthony Richardson under center. Expect long bombs and go up and grab ‘ems in the red zone from a hungry Shorter.
Parker: Nay’Quan Wright – The strength of the offense are the running backs, and with Wright leading the way in a loaded room, the long-time backup should have a breakout season.
Weiss: Nay’Quan Wright – In what’s looking to be a run-heavy offense under Napier, Wright is challenged only by redshirt freshman Montrell Johnson as the RB1.
Wheeler: O’Cyrus Torrence – It all starts up front in Florida’s run first (second and third) offensive philosophy. If the Gators are to be successful this year, they will need the offensive line to play a couple of levels above what they have over the past couple of years. Torrence solidifies what should be one of the better groups in the SEC.
Will: O’Cyrus Torrence – Big-time transfer. See him being a dominant force on the line.
Who will be the Defensive MVP
De Los Santos: Brenton Cox Jr. – All-SEC Preseason 2nd Team, sixth in SEC in sacks in the previous season with the ability to turn drives on their head. He’ll be tested by Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas A&M.
Parker: Brenton Cox Jr. – Florida’s sack leader in 2021 has made one thing clear in the offseason: he wants to be the best pass-rusher in the country.
Weiss: Brenton Cox Jr. – The Junior linebacker out of Stockbridge will be looking to build off of an impressive 2021 campaign in which he tallied 26 solo tackles, 8.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.
Wheeler: Ventrell Miller – Despite this being a line-dominant league, a run-stuffing middle linebacker still has plenty of value. Look no further than what happened to Florida’s run defense when Miller went down last year as proof of his importance. Now, if he could only begin to play the pass as well, he would see his value increase 10 fold.
Will: Ventrell Miller – The defensive leader is back on the field. May not be a stat leader or the most dominant but will be the most valuable.
Who will surprise on Offense