75 days to Florida Gator football!
#75 – Lomas Brown. Lomas Brown Jr. of Miami, FL, is generally is recognized as the Gators’ top all-time offensive lineman. A consensus first-team All-American on Florida’s famed 1984 squad, Brown also was a two-time All-SEC pick. A first-round draft choice, he played in multiple Pro Bowls. Brown was a member of the Gator offensive line under Charley Pell and Galen Hall in the early 80’s that was affectionately referred to as “The Great Wall of Florida”, which included Phil Bromley, Billy Hinson, Crawford Ker and Jeff Zimmerman. With Kerwin Bell at QB and Neal Anderson and John L. Williams in the backfield, the 1984 Gators went 9-1-1 in what could have been our first SEC Championship. Years later, theUniversity of Florida Athletic Association added Lomas Brown to the annals of the Hall of Fame as a Gator Great.
#75 – Charlie LaPradd. In 1952, LaPradd was the first Gator selected as All-American since Dale Van Sickel in 1928. He was a walk-on player as a severely undersized tackle. LaPradd actually hitchhiked his way to Gainesville and begged for a tryout on Bob Woodruff’s team. LaPradd earned Third Team All SEC honors in 1950, Second Team honors in 1951, and First Team honors in 1952. He was a key member of the Gator team with largest victory at the time over rival Georgia, the 1952 edition of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. In the same year the Gators earned their first major bowl bid and win, a 14-13 victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the 1953 Gator Bowl. Charlie LaPradd’s story is one of inspiration–from walk-on to All American–and one of tragedy–he was injured in a car accident after being selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 1953 NFL Draft.