Derrick Jabar Gaffney was born in San Antonio, Texas, and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He is the son of Gator receiver Derrick Gaffney, nephew to Gator quarterback Don Gaffney, and cousin to Gator cornerback Lito Shepard. He played for Steve Spurrier‘s Florida Gators from 2000 to 2001, where he was first team All-SEC both years and All American his final year. He finished his two-season college career with 138 receptions for 2,375 yards and 27 touchdowns, and was chosen by his teammates as the Gators‘ MVP. He is best remembered for his last-minute catch that defeated the Tennessee Volunteers and landed the Gators an SEC East championship.