NASHVILLE — Florida fans and players call “CeCe” Jefferson by his nickname.
So does the official team roster.
But to Gators coach Jim McElwain, he is known as Carl.
And following UF’s 13-6 victory against Vanderbilt, McElwain had high praise for the sophomore defensive lineman. Jefferson has made the switch from end to tackle this year despite being undersized at 261 pounds.
Florida was lacking depth at the position and needed someone to backup starter Caleb Brantley. Jefferson happily obliged.
But with Jordan Sherit and Bryan Cox Jr. both out of the starting lineup Saturday, Jefferson started at defensive end and didn’t miss a beat. He played his most snaps of the season and made his presence felt on the edge, finishing with four tackles.
After the game, McElwain ripped his players for getting pushed around by the Commodores and not being the aggressor. Their play was just not up to par.
“Do it at a high level and understand you’re a Florida Gator,” McElwain said.
However, that did not apply to at least one member of the team.
“Carl’s great,” McElwain said. “He’s fun. You wish you had more of those guys. I wish we had more Carls because Carl enjoys it. He loves being a Gator and he’s proud to be a Gator.
“He plays with such energy and has so much fun doing it, and he’s like that at practice. We’ve got a lot of guys who can take a lesson or two from Carl.”
Jefferson, a former 5-star recruit, also has the ability to go along with his attitude. Brantley wasn’t surprised to see him have success filling in for the starters at end.
“He’s an athlete,” Brantley said of Jefferson. “It’s self explanatory. He’s an athlete and he balls. That’s what he does, he gets after it.”