John Capel - College Career

College Career

Capel received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida, where he played for coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football team in 1998 and 1999.

Capel played in every game as a true freshman in 1998, earning his only career start when the team opened with a three-receiver formation against South Carolina. He had two receptions for four yards and rushed the ball 11 times for 80 yards (7.3 avg) and a touchdown. He returned eight punts for 77 yards (9.6 avg) and 10 kickoffs for 274 yards (27.4 avg). Against Georgia he scored his first career touchdown, an eight-yard run. Against Syracuse in the Orange Bowl he returned three punts for 29 yards and two kickoffs for 37 yards.

As a sophomore in 1999, Capel again played in every game, listed third on the depth chart at flanker. He did not participate in spring football drills due to schedule conflicts with his commitments to the school's track team. He recorded nine receptions for 84 yards (9.3 avg) and 63 yards on nine carries (7.0 avg). He returned nine kickoffs for 141 yards (15.7 avg) and two punts for -3 yards. Against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game he rushed the ball twice for seven yards. Against Michigan State in the Citrus Bowl he recorded 109 yards on five kickoff returns with a long of 38 yards.

Capel did not play football in 2000, while he was competing as a sprinter on the U.S. Olympic team. After the Olympics, he decided to forego his remaining NCAA college eligibility and entered the 2001 NFL Draft.

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    In looking back over the college careers of those who for various reasons have been prominent in undergraduate life ... one cannot help noticing that these men have nearly always shown from the start an interest in the lives of their fellow students. A large acquaintance means that many persons are dependent on a man and conversely that he himself is dependent on many. Success necessarily means larger responsibilities, and responsibilities mean many friends.
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