The Future: Quarterbacks

Time heals all wounds, of this I promise you.

The sting of the 2013 football season has yet to fade away and will likely remain an open wound until the Gators kickoff the 2014 campaign against Idaho.

With no bowl game to look forward to or opponent to preview, we’ll look inward to the roster and breakdown what the Gators will look like heading into spring practice. Which players are holding steady, who’s moving up/down the depth chart, who’s buried behind other players and some potential transfers that we’re hearing about along the way.

Today, we kick it off with, what else, quarterback.

The 2013 season was a disaster at this position. Jeff Driskel’s injury drastically changed what the Florida offense could have been. That’s not a shot at Tyler Murphy, who played well considering the circumstance, but more of a nod to how Murphy’s was utilized due to the lack of experience and depth behind him.


[icon name=”circle-arrow-right” size=2x] Holding Steady: Jeff Driskel, Tyler Murphy

Jeff Driskel

2013 Stats: 42-61, 477 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 3 Total TD

Driskel played less than a quarter of the season before a broken fibula sidelined him for the year. A medical hardship waiver is an option for Driskel, who will return to Florida and the starting role — despite Muschamp calling the situation an open competition.

Strengths: Driskel’s biggest strength is his mobility. He is a big, bruising runner with surprising speed and agility for his size. Driskel’s skillset is not and never will be a fit for the offense that Muschamp has run in the past and a move to a more up-tempo, spread out offense would better utilize Driskel’s strengths.


Weaknesses: Driskel’s biggest weakness goes hand-in-hand with his biggest strength. It’s a tough label to put on a kid but Driskel is injury prone. There’s no way around it. He’s been at Florida three seasons and missed time each year with various injuries.


Tyler Murphy

2013 Stats: 112-185, 1,216 yards, 6 TD, 5 INT, 9 Total TD

A career backup, Murphy played well for the first month or so after being thrust into the starting lineup. A shoulder injury that he suffered drastically affected his ability to affectively execute the offense. Murphy played well against the likes of Kentucky and Tennessee but wore down in the teeth of the true SEC schedule. Assuming he stays

Strengths: Murphy’s biggest strength is his mobility and moxy. A smaller player than Driskel, Murphy is a different kind of runner — more elusive and quicker — than his counterpart. Murphy also showed some gull and moxy, making tough throws and taking the kinds of chances with his arm that fans wished Driskel would take.


Weaknesses: Murphy’s biggest weakness is his accuracy. He was fairly accurate before his shoulder injury but often sailed passes high. Murphy needs to work on delivering his passes and hitting his receivers in stride to give them a chance to make a play for him after the catch.


[icon name=”circle-arrow-up” size=2x] Moving Up: Will Grier, Max Staver


Max Staver

2013 Stats: Redshirt

Despite the injuries to Florida’s starting and backup quarterbacks, the coaching staff stood by their desire to redshirt Staver.

Strengths: Staver has a live arm and a very quick release. He’s a tall quarterback who could fit well if Florida decides to stick to more of a pro-style system but also has enough mobility to fit into a spread offense. He’s no burner but has sneaky speed for a player of his stature.

Weaknesses: Staver has a big arm and a gunslinger mindset. Watching his high school film, he shows a tendency to try and fit passes into small windows rather than using his legs to make a play. He needs to work on his accuracy but that will come with time as he becomes more familiar with the system and the speed of the SEC game.


Will Grier

2013 Stats (According to Max Preps): 314-446, 4,989 yards, 77 TD, 11 INT, 115 carries, 1,251 yards, 13 TD

Grier is a dual-threat quarterback who will arrive on campus early this spring and already has Gator Nation buzzing and hopeful for the future. He’s spent the past three seasons assaulting the national high school passing record books while winning three-straight state championships as the quarterback of Davidson Day in North Carolina. Grier finished with 14,565 passing yards and 195 touchdowns in his high school career, adding 31 more rushing scores to put his touchdown total well over 200.

Strengths: Grier plays some pretty bad competition in high school but he dominates that competition and that’s all you can ask of an elite quarterback. Grier finished second in the Elite 11 this summer where he showed accuracy, the ability to throw on the run and mental toughness through a gauntlet of physical and mental tasks that were thrown his way.

Weaknesses: Size. Grier needs to get bigger and it will take him some time to get used to the speed of the game in the SEC. Both of these factors will likely result in Grier using a redshirt his first season on campus


[icon name=”circle-arrow-down” size=2x] Moving Down: Skyler Mornhinweg

Skyler Mornhinweg

2013 Stats: 44-63, 344 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Mornhinweg was thrown into an impossible position in 2013. As much as coaches say that you prepare every player as if they are going to play that week, it’s impossible. Mornhinweg did the best he could with his skill set and after an offseason where the majority of the reps were not his.

Strengths: For the most part, Mornhinweg was accurate and efficient in what he was asked to

Weaknesses: Mornhinweg doesn’t have the arm strength to make all the throws necessary on the football field.

 [icon name=”icon-circle-blank” size=2x] Buried on the depth chart: Jacob Guy, Chris Wilkes, Ryan McGriff

Chris Wilkes

A former professional baseball player, Wilkes spent his first year on campus taking in the view from the sideline. Wilkes has a long way to go to get back into football shape and he doesn’t appear to be a viable option with the players that Florida has ahead of him on the roster.


Jacob Guy & Ryan McGriff

Both Guy and McGriff are at Florida for depth purposes. Nether if them are scheduled to play this season and will likely end their careers without playing any significant snaps.

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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. Mornhinweg…I thought the kid was the most accurate passer we had in the group. Of course he only threw a few passes but it seemed like they made it. I’m not sure I ever saw him attempt a pass that showed off his arm strength or lack thereof…if a guy really has poor arm strength why even be a QB? Just curious about that. I’ve seen Driskell wing it a mile, I often wonder about his capacity to assimilate everything mentally. Be that as it may, If our illustrious coach does go more spread and some read-option he’ll be fabulous executing that. Tyler Murphy reminded of some of our smaller backs moves we had under Meyer-although, with the ability to toss it around. In watching other games and teams it seems that other teams always have receivers running around the field wide open. Are our guys that bad that they can’t get open? Can 3/4 of the teams in the nation have better receivers? Is it the route running? Just seems very strange. Is it illegal to use the slant pattern? Seems to work for most of the other schools. I just figured we were on some secret probation with the NCAA and weren’t allowed to utilize it in our offense. Perhaps this years meltdown will usher in some good change for the better. Go Gators.

    • Haha – the illegal slant pattern! Agree on the passing game, but think it was a combination of poor route running, predictable play calling and sometimes poor judgment by the QB. Lacking a good TE certainly took it’s toll as well.