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The Receivers: ‘Fun ‘N Gun’ years formed the identity of the Gators’ offense

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There were better receivers. Maybe even faster ones.

But for the University of Florida Gators, the receivers of the “Fun ‘N Gun” typified an era.

You can still debate whether Ike Hilliard or Reidel Anthony were better. Throw in Jacquez Green the next year, and you have a sprint to the end zone.

Still, the Fun ‘N Gun receivers weren’t the team’s best. Not with Percy Harvin, playing in two national title games. Not with Wes Chandler, the Harvin of his day, and Carlos Alvarez running free. Receiver has been a good position for Florida through the years.

Just ask the NFL.

10. Ricky Nattiel (1983-1986): One of John Elway’s Three Amigos. Caught 117 balls for 2,086 yards with the Gators.

9. Jack Jackson (1992-1994): A solid performer who caught 143 passes for 2,266 yards. Drafted by Chicago.

8. Jacquez Green (1995-1997): Caught 111 passes for 2,181 yards. No. 2 draft pick of Tampa Bay.

7. Ike Hilliard (1994-1996): Caught 126 passes for 2,214 yards. No. 1 pick of the Giants.

6. Jabbar Gaffney (2000-2001): Caught 138 for 2,373 yards. Drafted by Patriots.

5. Reidel Anthony (1994-1996): Caught 125 passes for 2,274 yards. No. 1 pick by Tampa Bay.

4. Andre Caldwell (2004-2007): Caught 185 passes for 2,349 yards.

3. Wes Chandler (1974-1977): Tenth in Heisman voting. Caught 92 passes for 1994 yards, but was one of the best threats the Gators ever had.

2. Carlos Alvarez (1969-1971): Terrific player, but one who was better as a sophomore. Had 172 catches for 2,563 yards.

1. Percy Harvin (2006-2008): Played in two national title wins. Caught 192 passes for 1,812 yards.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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