Breaking down the depth chart: Quarterback

There are 74 days until football season.

It’s a number that seems so small, yet the college football kickoff is still so far away. With that in mind, Gator Country will begin to break down the two-deep depth chart. We’ll do so with knowledge that the freshmen class will report on the 22nd of this month and could shake things up.

We’ll breakdown what the two-deep depth chart looks like now and make predictions as to which players are on the outside looking in but have a chance to shake things up with a strong offseason and fall camp.

The two deep: Jeff Driskel (R-Jr.), Skyler Mornhinweg ( R-So.)
The rest: Will Grier (Fr.), Treon Harris (Fr.)

This is Jeff Driskel’s job. That was made abundantly clear when spring practice was pushed back to make sure that Driskel would be able to be a full participant. Will Muschamp and his staff like to create position battles and leave starting roles up to how players perform in practice and in games — and they have done that at quarterback before — but not at quarterback this season.

Driskel is finally in an offense that suits his skill set. Driskel was recruited to run Urban Meyer’s spread offense but enrolled just months after Will Muschamp took the job and vowed to bring a pro-style offense with him. Driskel struggled to adapt to two different offensive coordinators in his first three seasons but finally has a coordinator whose offense fits the quarterback’s strengths and hides his weaknesses.

If Driskel can stay healthy, he will be the quarterback the entire season.

Currently, Skyler Mornhinweg is the No. 2 guy here. However, we saw Will Grier take more snaps from Mornhinweg as spring practice went on.

That said; don’t expect to see Grier play this season unless it is due to an injury to Driskel.

If Driskel were to go down, expect to see Grier take over the starting job and Mornhinweg slide down the depth chart.

The wild card in this scenario is Treon Harris. Florida was fortunate to land Harris after getting in on his recruitment late. Harris is a supremely talented and athletic quarterback who should be able to get on the field early. That, of course, will depend on how he is able to adjust to the speed of the college game and learn a new play book. Playing in his favor is the fact that Harris has played big-time high school football in Miami, leading Booker T. Washington High School to two-consecutive state championships and a mythical high school national championship.

He’s a coaches son, which typically translates to a higher football IQ, having grown up around the game and in locker rooms.

The ideal situation for Florida would be for Driskel to stay healthy for the entire season — something he has yet to do in his career — have Grier redshirt (creating separation on the depth chart between he and Harris) and to have some packages for Harris.

Last season, Roper used a two-quarterback system where Anthony Boone threw 68% of the passes, while Brandon Connette threw 31%. Connette was the bigger running threat and carried the ball 101 times to Boone’s 66 attempts.

If Driskel were to stay healthy, expect a similar split with Driskel and Harris — maybe an 80/20 split rather than the 70/30 that Boone and Connette enjoyed last season.

There would be a disaster plan that would involve Grier. Grier is a talented quarterback and, according to Roper, has already bulked up about 15 pounds since he arrived on campus, but he would still benefit from a redshirt season.

If Jeff Driskel were to go down, expect Grier and Harris to split the quarterback duties moving forward with a 60/40 or almost 50/50 split with Grier earning the start and Harris coming in as a change of pace.

One thing is certain, 2013 was a learning experience. Florida was ill prepared to have Driskel go down and they won’t let that happen again. Florida will have all of their backup quarterbacks up to speed by opening day and they will make sure even the freshmen are ready to answer the call if need be.

In a perfect world, Driskel would stay healthy and thrive in Roper’s offense. If Gator fans learned anything in 2013 it was that the world isn’t perfect, life isn’t fair and even a scooter accident can take a player off the field.

The difference between 2013 and 2014 is Florida is better equipped to handle injuries, at least at the quarterback position.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC


  1. It all comes down to Driskel. I don’t know yet if it’s a good thing that Driskel stays the starter for the entire season. A healthy Jeff Driskel was pretty bad last year and Tyler Murphy was an improvement, in my opinion. Now UF doesn’t have Murphy, which is a big loss in my eyes. You know the saying; “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.” I think of that when I hear that Jeff Driskel is the quarterback of the Gators.

    • Currently JD is the best option at QB. This offense is much simpler and suits his skill set. I think this is a make or break season for Driskel but I believe his numbers will improve.

    • I’m not sure it was so much the offense. Driskel chunked up INTs like McDonalds serves McDoubles. If the offense he ran in high school fits the one he’ll be in this year will his decision making improve. I hope so.

      Looked up video on Teron Harris, was very impressed until I looked at his size. He has a great accurate arm on him from what I saw on film. He completed 62% of his passes looking accurate throwing off his back foot, falling away or on the run. He often threw across his body and was great with the ball under his arm. Don’t forget he was on a great football team that won two back-to-back state championships in the largest division of football in the great state of Florida.

      Down side is his height, 5-11, although he plays bigger and looks taller on the field. I love this kid but doubt he will see time behind center at UF. With his athletic ability and home grown nose for the pigskin he can tear it up at WR or corner. I could see a Lawrence Dawsey type, and that’s a good thing, a very good thing.

      If Florida wanted a short QB a dam good one just transferred. I wish we would have hitched our wagon to that kid, hope the best for Driskel.

      Harris has the chance to be a solid WR like Dawsey or a corner like Dee Webb, that’s shooting high but Harris seems like that kind of athlete.

  2. I expect Driskel to play very well. He took the offense up and down the field against Miami and he wasn’t the only one that turned the ball over. He only had two picks, in the game and we still could have won it. The defense had a few lapses, as well. The Pick in the UT game doesn’t count – he threw the ball while his leg was being broken. We saw what Jeff did to Vandy when he had the option to run the ball. The coaching staff were so scared of him being injured that they limited his runs. You won’t see that in this offense. Hopefully, Harris will pick up the playbook and take some of the runs away from Driskel, limiting his chances of getting hurt. Jeff needs to remember that defensive players will be gunning for his ankles, so, he need to get his feet off the ground, if possible.

    Murphy did a decent job; however, he threw his share of picks, as well and even he knew that he couldn’t compete with a healthy Driskel. I am glad he transferred. We may not have gotten Harris and we did not need a situation, like Brissett, where there could be issues in the locker room.

    Pease and Cheeseburger failed Jeff. That won’t happen this year. Roper will get Jeff to the next level.

    • snowprint may get a bad wrap for his sinicism but he never waivers and speaks openly. We all have high optimism for Jeff but going from what we have witness….Snow makes solid observations concerning Jeff. Tenn pick was definitely Jeff fault, he eyed the WR all the way motioned the ball before the break, if anything the break help ease the critism of what we’ve come to see. Murphy was by far the most effecient QB of last season and was derailed by forcing to play through a shoulder injury (rumor that was Champs call). Murphy has seen Jeff play but knew he couldnt compete against Jeff and Will for the starting spot. Everyone says that offense is better suited for Jeff, what no one is saying is that it was better suited for Tyler even more and he could be more effective than Jeff in this system with full reps….lets not forget Tyler was recruited for this system as well.

    • Snowprint is still a troll who sympathizes with fsu over any bad publicity brought on themselves while criticizing everything UF. Not sure how that constitutes a “fan” but if you can show me 1 positive thing he has posted or any driskel article he hasn’t hijacked and riddled with negativity than I would be shocked. You can’t sit here and tell me there isn’t anything positive driskel brings to that position for us. Yet snowprint would pin all our failures on him if he could.