NEW ORLEANS -- Most of them lurked in the shadows three years ago when the Gators were last here for the Sugar Bowl.
They were on the team but it wasn't their team.
The 2009 Florida team that trampled Cincinnati to cap a 13-1 season belonged to a group of upperclassmen led by seniors Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes. Florida's starting lineup that night featured 16 players on NFL rosters this season.
Freshmen such as Frankie Hammond, Jon Bostic and Omarius Hines played in the game but didn't start. Hammond had four tackles on special teams. Running back Mike Gillislee highlighted Florida's freshmen playing in their first bowl game, rushing for a game-high 78 yards on five carries.
Kicker Caleb Sturgis made six extra-points and had a field goal. Josh Evans had a tackle.
Overall, 10 current Florida seniors played in the victory over Cincinnati with offensive lineman Xavier Nixon, then a true freshman, the only one in the starting lineup at left tackle.
They returned to the Superdome...