Jacksonville Sports Day

Gators Named to AP Preseason All-America Team; Watch List

Duke Dawson (7)

GAINESVILLE – Senior defensive back Duke Dawson and junior kicker Eddy Pineiro were named preseason Second Team All-America selections, as the Associated Press announced on Tuesday. Junior defensive lineman Cece Jefferson earned a spot on the Ted Hendricks Award Preseason Watch List.

Dawson, a second-team Pro Football Focus All-SEC as a junior, played in 12 games last season and started seven at nickel corner.

The Cross City, Fla. native recorded one interception, returning it for a touchdown and he tallied a team-high seven pass breakups. Overall, Dawson totaled 24 tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss and one forced fumble last fall.

The African American studies major enters his senior campaign with 48 tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss, two forced fumbles and two interceptions, which were both returned for touchdowns.

Pineiro, a criminology major, earned a spot on the preseason All-America Team after garnering Second Team All-SEC honors by Pro Football Focus and Athlon Sports last season.

He finished his sophomore campaign with 21 made field goals out of his 25 attempts, good for an 84.0 fields goal made percentage. He made 11 field goals of 40-plus yards, including two in the Outback Bowl.

The Miami, Fla. native booted two 54-yard field goals in 2016, tying for sixth-longest in the history of UF Football. He finished tied for third in the nation with 1.85 field goals per game and finished first on the Gators in points scored with 95.

Dawson was tabbed to the preseason watch lists for the Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Jim Thorpe Award, while Pineiro made his way onto the Lou Groza Award watch list.

Jefferson, a social and behavioral sciences major, garnered the watch list nod after playing in 12 games during the 2016 season. During that time, Jefferson notched six starts and totaled 30 tackles, 6.5 of which were for a loss.

The Glen St. Mary, Fla. native also recorded 1.5 sacks for a total loss of 13 yards during his sophomore campaign. He logged five quarterback hurries on the season as well.

The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football’s first three-time All-American. On-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community, and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the Award’s winner.

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