- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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Editor’s note: Each day between now and Florida’s Allstate Sugar Bowl date with Louisville, GatorNation will review the season for a key Gators player and attempt to project what’s next. Today we’ll look at LB Jon Bostic.
LB Jon Bostic
62 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 2 INTs, 4 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
Role in 2012: Bostic started every game at middle linebacker for the second consecutive season. While his tackle numbers were down, he did make more big plays this season.
The good: UF coach Will Muschamp challenged the linebackers to make big plays this season and Bostic responded. After having no interceptions or fumble recoveries last season, Bostic had two interceptions and one fumble recovery this season. Bostic isn’t a flashy player, but he is a consistent factor in the middle of the field. He has done a much better job of getting off blocks and doesn’t miss many tackles.
The bad: Even though he made more big plays this season, he still needs to get better in that area. He doesn’t appear to be one of those players who has a knack for making a big play when his team needs it the most or making a big play to set the tone, like former UF LB Brandon Spikes did. He had just half a tackle for loss and no sacks in the last six games. He was better at shedding blocks than before, but he still needs work there.
Crystal ball: Bostic is likely a middle-round selection in the 2013 NFL draft. If there was any doubt about whether he’s fast enough to play at the next level, he seemed to answer that question when he ran down Jacksonville State receiver Kevyn Cooper on the sideline. Bostic is a run-stuffing linebacker who isn’t good in coverage, so he needs to end up with a team that will utilize him correctly, the way the Patriots do with Spikes.
1dSam Khan Jr.
3dSam Khan Jr.