Despite two losing seasons in the last 10 years (2013 and 2017), Florida’s football program has consistently turned out NFL-caliber athletes, establishing it as the FBS team with the third-most active players on a 53-man roster in 2019 with 35 — including five rookies (Vosean Joseph, Jordan Scarlett, Jawaan Taylor, C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Fred Johnson).
As we pass the halfway point of the collegiate regular season and approach the same benchmark for professional play, here are some prominent Florida alumni to watch in the coming weeks:
Eddy Pineiro, kicker, Chicago Bears
Eddy Pineiro was UF’s kicker in 2016 and 2017 after transferring from ASA Community College in Miami. He is the most accurate kicker to ever play for Florida, having amassed the highest field goal percentage in program history, going 38 for 43 (88.4 percent).
Pineiro has made nine of 10 field goal attempts and every extra point with the Bears this season.
In Week 2, he made a 53-yard game-winning field goal against the Broncos — the longest of his professional career (54-yards was his career-long at UF). In that same game, Pineiro scored 10 of the team’s 16 points — just enough to edge out a win in Denver. He also scored 10 of the Bears’ 16 points in Week 4 in their 16-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Pineiro and the Bears will welcome the Los Angeles Chargers to Chicago on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Demarcus Robinson, receiver, Kansas City Chiefs
Demarcus Robinson was the leading receiver for the Gators in 2014 and 2015. He has 20 receptions for 312 yards and three touchdowns this year with Kansas City. Robinson averages 15.6 yards per catch and completed a season-long 44-yard catch against the Oakland Raiders in Week 2 — his second receiving touchdown of the game.
Robinson will face Green Bay’s defense on Sunday at 8:20 p.m. when the Packers land in Kansas City.
Brian Poole, cornerback, New York Jets
Brian Poole played defensive back for UF from 2012 to 2015. He is one of three Gators on the Jets roster, including Jonotthan Harrison and Marcus Maye.
Poole has recorded 28 solo tackles, one forced fumble and one safety thus far in New York’s 2019 campaign.
Poole has been solid in coverage this season, only allowing nine receptions for 56 yards through Week 5. After being traded by the Falcons during the offseason, Poole is making a statement in his first year in New York.
The Jets travel to Jacksonville this weekend to face off with the Jaguars on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Follow Payton Titus on Twitter @petitus25. Contact her at [email protected]