The Florida Gators ended up going with experience at quarterback, too.
Gators’ coach Jim McElwain announced Wednesday that he will start incumbent quarterback Treon Harris at quarterback Saturday when the team takes on New Mexico State in its season opener. Harris played in games last season as a dual threat quarterback.
For many fans, the advantage to redshirt freshman Will Grier was his newness. He was a four-star quarterback recruit who had never thrown an incompletion (or completion, for that matter) for the Gators, an untapped talent who could grow with the offense. That might still happen; McElwain said that Grier will play, too.
But the start will go to Harris, a quarterback who hit only 49.5 percent of his passes for 1,019 yards and nine scores and finished with a 4-2 record. Getting the start may be no small thing. Florida is a huge favorite over New Mexico State, and the better Harris looks, the more he will play.
“I wouldn’t read too much into it,” McElwain said. “Treon’s going to start the football game. Will’s going to play in that game a lot, too. This is still a painting in progress.”
McElwain pointed out that neither quarterback seized the job after 29 practices.
“It was really close,” McElwain said. “From a coaching standpoint you’ve got to feel good about that because you’ve got two real good quarterbacks. Both of them, I feel, are deserving of it. We’re excited about seeing these guys play.
“Somebody had to take the first snap, guys. Treon is taking the first snap.”