The Florida Gators quarterback carousel continues to turn as the Orange and Blue ready to take their talents to Lexington to face the Kentucky Wildcats this Saturday, but a new wrinkle has emerged that could bring the spinning cycle to a halt.
Following Florida’s practice on Wednesday head coach Jim McElwain said that both Treon Harris and Will Grier would play this Saturday against Kentucky but that the coaching staff would like to get to a situation where they can just rely on the hot hand and not have to rotate quarterbacks throughout a game.
“That’s what we’d like to get to. If a guy’s hitting threes, filling it up like Freeman Williams used to,” McElwain said referencing the former Portland State sharpshooter. “And at the same time, the prescribed amount of reps, it’s not going to be one of those deals where a guy makes a bad throw and then you’re … I don’t believe in that either. Again, we kind of have those reps, but obviously if a guy’s hitting it and distributing it and has a good stroke, then we’ll go with it.”
Both Harris and Grier have taken the competition in stride. There is no animosity between the two and the battle has yet to divide the locker room. McElwain appreciates how both have taken the situation professionally and sees another added benefit to having both guys continue to battle for the starting position.
“Here’s the good thing, both guys are really studying the game plan. I think that’s a really good thing,” he said. “You don’t have a starter doing all the work and the other guy coming and get half of it and all of a sudden it’s my turn. You’ve got to prepare yourself like the starter.”
McElwain and the offensive coaching staff will review film of the three days of practice they’ve had this week and decide on a starter in the coming days. Harris could have a perceived edge in earning the start this week given the fact that he started two road games and two neutral site games a year ago but McElwain wouldn’t say if he was leaning towards one quarterback over the other at this time.
The biggest difference in McElwain’s approach and response to questions about the quarterbacks has been that the “rotation” may not end up being a rotation if one of the quarterbacks were to get hot during a game.
In the first game of the season, Harris completed his first five passing and was moving the offense efficiently before it was Grier’s turn to get in the game based on a predetermined rep count for each guy. Moving forward, even if there isn’t a permanent starter named, it seems like the situation has evolved to the point where a rotation could be rendered completely null during the course of a game based on how a player is performing.
That may not make fans as happy as just naming a quarterback and sticking with it, but on the carousel of progress you learn that progress is a slow process and this is a step in the right direction.