When Orlando Dr. Phillips four-star safety Marcell Harris committed to Florida on Thursday, he became the latest in a long line of Gator legacies to follow in the footsteps of their father. Harris' dad, Mike Harris, played safety for the Gators back in the 1990s during the Steve Spurrier era.
Marcell Harris' dad, Mike Harris, played at Florida in the 1990s.
Marcell Harris isn't the only Florida legacy currently in the Gators' 2013 recruiting class.
Five-star running back Kelvin Taylor is the son of former Florida and NFL standout Fred Taylor.
Through the years, some Gator legacies have shined and others have not. Here's a look at five whose careers in Gainesville met or exceeded expectations:
FATHER: Derrick Gaffney
SON: Jabar Gaffney
NOTEWORTHY: The Gaffney family is one of the most well-known in Gators football. Derrick Gaffney played wide receiver in Gainesville and later with the New York Jets. While at Florida, he was on the receiving end of the longest pass play in school history -- a 99-yarder from current TV analyst Chris Collinsworth. Don Gaffney, Jabar's uncle, was the school's first black quarterback. Uncles Johnny and Warren also were Gators. In 2011, Jabar Gaffney was a first-team AP All-American receiver for a high-scoring Gators squad that had Rex Grossman at quarterback. He finished his college career with 138 catches for 2,375 yards -- the latter being the second-best total in the Florida record books. Gaffney was a second-round pick in 2002 and now has 447 NFL catches for 5,690 yards.
FATHER: Willie Jackson Sr.
SONS: Willie Jackson Jr., and Terry Jackson
NOTEWORTHY: Willie Jackson Sr. was the first black football player to play in a game at Florida. He signed on Dec. 18, 1968, and later led the Gators in all-purpose yards in 1970 and 1971. Willie Jackson Jr., began his career at Florida as a member of both the basketball and football squads. Ultimately, he would star on the gridiron. In 1992, he was a first-team All-SEC selection after leading the conference with 62 catches for 772 yards. He finished his Gators career with 2,172 receiving yards and 162 catches (third in school history). In nine NFL seasons, he caught 284 passes. Terry Jackson played running back for the Gators and was a member of the school's first national championship team in 1996. He was a second-team Academic All-American in 1998 and played seven NFL seasons with San Francisco.
FATHER: Bruce Culpepper
SON: Brad Culpepper
NOTEWORTHY: Bruce Culpepper was an offensive lineman for the Gators in the early 1960s and was a co-captain on the school's 1962 squad. Brad Culpepper, who played defensive tackle, is among the most celebrated student-athletes in Florida history, regardless of sport. For a 1991 Gators team that won 10 games, beat Auburn, Georgia and Florida State, and played in the Sugar Bowl, he was a first-team AP All-American. Culpepper also was a first-team Academic All-American and won the prestigious Draddy Scholarship Trophy presented annually by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame to the nation’s premier football scholar-athlete. He served as student body vice president during his senior year. Culpepper played nine NFL seasons and recorded 34 sacks. He's now an attorney.
FATHER: Lee McGriff
SON: Travis McGriff
NOTEWORTHY: Lee McGriff started his career as a walk-on at Florida but ended up being a second-team All-SEC pick in 1973 and first-team All-SEC selection in 1974 at receiver. In 1974, while helping Florida reach the Sugar Bowl, McGriff led the SEC with 36 catches for 698 yards playing for an option offense. He is currently an analyst for the Gators radio network. Travis McGriff was an unheralded recruit himself, but he too, would have an excellent career. In 1998, Travis McGriff set a school record with 1,357 receiving yards (with a staggering 222 yards vs. South Carolina) and was a third-team AP All-American. He was a third-round pick and played three NFL seasons.
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