HERO Sports is counting down the days until the kickoff of the 2018 college football season on Saturday, Aug. 25, by featuring the best player in the FBS at each jersey number, from 99-1. Each day, from May 18 through Aug. 24, we'll publish one article showcasing the best player whose jersey number matches the number of days remaining.
No. 96 Cece Jefferson
Florida – DE
Cece Jefferson was a five-star recruit in the 2015 class that featured three defensive ends among the top eight players. At the time he appeared to be a likely three-year college player who could enter the 2018 draft but, three years later, the 6-foot-1, 261-pounder is entering his senior season at Florida.
"Senior Year about to be one to remember! Road To Atlanta! Go Gators!" he tweeted in early January, announcing his return. But then he had surgery in April is expected to miss at least three months. It was a "significant" should procedure, according to the Gainesville Sun.
"They feel pretty confident in having him back in some nature during training camp, and we'll see," Dan Mullen told 247Sports. "Whether it's Week 1 or Week 2, as the season goes where he gets to be 100 percent. I'll be cautious with him as I am with all the guys."
The Florida native had 13.5 tackles for loss last year and has 28.5 in his career, along with 9.5 sacks. His snap reaction isn't always the fastest but he shoots the gap, recognizes botched assignments and does a ton that doesn't show up on the stat sheet.