Fletcher’s Fletcher graduate is just a week away from leading his alma mater, the Senators, to a district title in his first season as their football coach. He was inducted into the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame on Friday at the TIAA Bank Field East Club with Keiwan Ratliff, former Florida Gator teammate, and Georgia players Thomas Davis, and Jon Stinchcomb.
As if that weren’t enough, Brent Martineau, master of ceremonies, announced that Fason was celebrating his 39th birthday. He led the crowd (Gators and Bulldogs) in a rendition “Happy Birthday.”
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Fason simply acknowledged that it was a blessing to become the 11th player from his area to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. “It made it even sweeter to be able to play in the Florida-Georgia match in my hometown. It made me want more.”
Fason is the first Gator player from First Coast to be inducted in the game’s Hall of Fame. He joins Tim Tebow (Nease), and Lito Sheppard(Raines) who were inducted in 2017. Fason was a Bulldogs player three times, but his greatest impact came in 2004, when he gained 139 yards from 17 carries (at 8.2 yards per attempt) as well as five catches for 35 yards.
Davis stated that Ciatrick was a difficult running back to defeat. “A defense looks forward to the physicality and that’s what you got when you played Ciatrick,” Davis said.
Fason described it as bittersweet. After a loss to Mississippi State, Coach Ron Zook was fired. Georgia beat the Gators 31-24.
Fason stated, “I tried my best to give our team the best chance of winning.” “I wanted to play in my hometown and I was excited to be there. Coach Zook said he would ride me, and almost won the upset.
UF was 4-0 against Georgia in 2000-2003 when Ratliff was a senior. He had one of the best games of his career as a senior. Ratliff intercepted a pass, made five tackles, and returned four punts for 22 yard in a 16-13 win. Ratliff was named the SEC defensive player-of-the year.
Ratliff had also returned four punts for 53 yards the year before in a victory of 20-13.
Fason thanked Ratliff for helping to manage his growing pains while he was a freshman Gator player and Ratliff was a sophomore.
This is why Ratliff was happy with the timing of the induction.
Fason said, “It’s great that I go in and even better to go into with my little brother.” “I couldn’t ask for a better partner than C4 to go in.”
Davis was a junior and played against Florida three more times from 2002 to 2004. He also had five tackles during the Bulldogs’ win.
Matt Stinchcomb joined his brother Matt in Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame. He was a four year starter on the UGA offensive line and one of the most prominent members of that team. Stinchcomb was the starting right tackle for three seasons and the starting left tackle for a senior. He helped Georgia’s running backs average 141 yards per game and a 4.8 average per carry.
Stinchcomb and Davis were both eager to see the No. The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs (7–0) and the nation’s best defense take on the Gators (4-3, CBS) Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Davis stated, “They’re probably the best defense I have ever seen,” without hesitation. They keep going week after week.”
Stinchcomb likened this year’s defense with the famous Georgia units of 1980s and 1970s.
Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame: Area players
Ciatrick Fason and Fletcher 2021
Nease, Tim Tebow, 2017,
Lito Sheppard, Raines, 2017
Jeff Chandler, Mandarin, 2016
Jabar Gaffney, Raines 2015
John L. Williams, Palatka 2012
Raines 2005, Don Gaffney
Charley LaPradd St. Augustine 1998
Larry Dupree, Baker Co. 1998
Boss Bailey, Camden Co. (Ga.), 2018
Tommy Thurson, Bishop Kenny 1998