Treon Harris to start at QB against New Mexico State

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Florida has found its starting quarterback. At least for Saturday.

Jim McElwain has announced that Treon Harris will start in the Gators’ season opener against new Mexico State. He also said that he “wouldn’t read much into it” and that that Harris and Will Grier would rotate based on the flow of the game; that means there won’t be an “every other drive” or “each guy gets a quarter” sort of deal.

This goes against pretty much everything I’ve said throughout fall camp about Grier outplaying Harris, and I’ll eat some crow if Harris eventually wins the job. That said, I still think Grier is in the lead for the starting QB role; it’s just not by so much that Harris clearly outplaying him against New Mexico State wouldn’t change that. Harris got off to a rocky start in fall camp compared to Grier’s hot start (hence my repeated assertions that the job is Grier’s to lose), but improved steadily as camp wore on and has now closed the gap significantly in the race.

As for who do I want to win the job? Well… Grier is the more natural QB with the better arm and betterĀ feel for the position, but Harris brings a level of athleticism that Grier doesn’t have. And just because Grier’s arm is better and is a more natural QB doesn’t mean that Harris doesn’t have a good arm (he does) and is incapable of making good reads (he’s not). I also trust McElwain to make the right decision; he’s got a far superior track record of developing offenses than I do (I coached a summer camp team to a regional championship once, and he’s the head coach at Florida).

But while McElwain has made a habit out of downplaying things, I think he’s right not to read too much into this. Remember, Florida could crush New Mexico State with its backups, so it isn’t like he’s starting Harris with the intention of doing all he can to win because that’s going to happen anyway. My analysis of this is simple: let’s see how things play out on Saturday, and then go from there.

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10 thoughts on “Treon Harris to start at QB against New Mexico State

  1. I think there is going to be some serious wailing and gnashing of teeth tonight. Yes, it’s true that not too much should be read into who starts against an awful team like New Mexico State, but… The fact is that Harris IS the starter and that contradicts everything the supposed experts have been saying ever since McElwain was hired. The reason for that is pretty simple. It was never based on anything Grier did, since he’s never taken a snap. It was always because Harris didn’t set the world on fire last year and, as is always the case, the most popular player is the backup quarterback, even if he hasn’t played a down, because he HAS to be great if the starter is not.
    We’ll see how it plays out, but, if nothing else, it should give pause to all the pundits and fans that have crowned Grier the “Chosen One” ever since he said he was coming to UF.He might not be a good quarterback, or he just might not yet be ready. I think some folks think iot’s normal now for a quarterback to be great immediately with Winston and Manziel winning the Heisman as redshirt freshmen. But they are the anomaly, and it might take time to develop into a good quarterback, as it usually does.

  2. Or…maybe the more mobile guy makes sense while the line is decimated and they don’t want to throw Grier to the wolves right away and want him to get his feet wet.

    1. Decimated? Other than Ivey, it’s about as good as you could possibly expect. One guy isn’t gonna make THAT much of a difference.

          1. Like him or hate him, Bianchi echoed it:

            It’s obvious Grier has the stronger arm, but UF’s shaky offensive line puts a premium on Harris’ escapability.

  3. I think this comment from another site is the best one and sums up how the vast majority of Gator fans think.

    WILL GRIER IS THE BEST QB EVER AND WILL NEVER GET A CHANCE BECAUSE THE ILLUMINATI WANTS TREON HARRIS TO START AND HE ALREADY HAD HIS CHANCE AND IS THE WORST AND I AM BETTER AT UNDERSTANDING THIS THAN A PERSON BEING PAID $4 MILLION A YEAR SPECIFICALLY TO EVALUATE THIS SORT OF THING

  4. UMMM Harris is not the better QB!! He sucked in spring and fall!!! now all of a sudden he is starting Saturday !!!! Really Grier needs to start Harris played last year and he was a ok QB. Grier is a more natural QB and he has proven himself in camp and its time to let him step up to the plate and play ball!!!! Go Gators !!!!

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