Chomp: What college football preview magazines are saying about Florida; Elam named Walter Camp Preseason All-American

Kaiir Elam and Emory Jones take the 2021 preseason magazines covers. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

This story first appeared in Chomp, our Gators football newsletter. Subscribe here.

Hey, Gators fans!

The preseason college football magazines are here, and I just got the confirmation email that my Phil Steele 2021 College Football Preview magazine is on the way. 🙌

So while we’re still waiting for that one to arrive, we’re digging into what the other preseason college football magazines are saying about the Gators.

🐊 What Athlon & Lindy’s are saying about Florida

In Athlon Sports’ 2021 preseason college football top 25, the Gators are ranked No. 11, while Lindy’s Sports has Florida one spot lower at 12th.

In the SEC East, both Athlon and Lindy’s predict Florida to come in second behind Georgia. With Georgia favored to win the East this year, Athlon and Lindy’s are singing a different -- but expected -- tune from their predictions in 2020 when they picked Florida to finish first in the division.

And here’s a look at the Gators who made the magazines’ All-SEC Teams this year:

Athlon All-SEC

First Team

  • DL Zachary Carter
  • CB Kaiir Elam

Second Team

  • LB Ventrell Miller

Third Team

  • LB Brenton Cox

Fourth Team

  • QB Emory Jones
  • WR Jacob Copeland

Lindy’s All-SEC

First Team

  • CB Kaiir Elam

Second Team

  • LB Ventrell Miller
  • LB Brenton Cox

Third Team

  • C Stewart Reese

🎧 Hear more preseason magazine talk

In this episode of Gators Breakdown, host David Waters and Will Miles, with Read and Reaction, dive even further into what the preseason magazines are saying about what to expect from the Gators this fall.

They also share their thoughts on where Athlon ranks Dan Mullen among SEC coaches (it’s above Kirby Smart 👀) and what opposing coaches have to say about the Gators.

🏈 Elam named to Walter Camp Preseason All-America Team

Kaiir Elam has been named to the 2021 Walter Camp Preseason All-America Team.

Elam was a second-team selection at defensive back.

The 2020 Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist and Coaches All-SEC first team selection started in all 12 games of the season at corner. The CB finished his sophomore campaign with 39 tackles (28 solo), 1.0 tackles-for-loss, two interceptions, 11 pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

🃏 PFF labels Jones a ‘wild card’ for 2022 NFL draft

While Emory Jones doesn’t have a lot of tape out there, Pro Football Focus is taking note of Jones’ potential.

Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner considers Jones a “wild card” for the 2022 NFL draft.

“Jones gets his own tier here because he’s the only quarterback on this list to have never started a college football game,” Renner writes.

Read the rest of Renner’s thoughts on Jones here.

💲 Florida recovering from $54.5M shortfall amid pandemic

Florida’s athletic department had a $54.5 million shortfall during the 2020-21 fiscal year because of the pandemic, The Associated Press reported.

The Gators were able to weather the significant financial losses with a supplement from the SEC and a sizeable reserve.

Athletic director Scott Stricklin expressed optimism that one of the country’s most successful sports programs would rebound without any long-term setbacks.

“It’s something we hope we never have to do again,” Stricklin said. “Glad it’s behind us. Looking forward to normality.”

See the rest of Stricklin’s comments here.

📨 Send us your Gators thoughts & questions

David and I want to hear from you. Do you have any thoughts or questions about the Gators football program? Agree or disagree with something we’ve said? Let us know here.

Going forward, we’ll share our responses to your questions.

❓ If top recruit commits early, will dominoes start to fall?

Zach Permenter sent us our first question: “If Dan Mullen and company are able to land an early commitment from a top-rated recruit like Walter Nolan, do you think the dominos will start to fall for this class?”

Here’s what David had to say:

I’ve expressed my thoughts that recruits are taking their time this cycle and many top prospects are going to wait until July and August to make their decisions since they missed so much visit time last year due to the pandemic. Five-star DL Walter Nolen visited Georgia last weekend and visits Michigan this coming up weekend. Michigan was thought to be the team to beat heading into visits, but Florida has now probably taken the lead in his recruitment after his official visit a couple of weeks ago… but never count out Alabama who expects to be a major player here.

I’ve always said that “stars want to play with stars” and I don’t think that’s any different here with Nolen. Florida had many top prospects on campus when Nolen visited and that can only help relationships with those types of players. Nolen has even mentioned bringing the top-rated recruiting class wherever he goes, so that leads me to believe he has some players in mind to bring with him. I think Florida can sell a lot here about being a piece of a class that gets Florida back to the top.

Read the rest of his thoughts here.

🎙️ Listen to more Gators Breakdown

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About the Author:

Jacksonville native and proud University of Florida graduate who joined News4JAX in 2016.