The wait is over for the Florida Gators. Jim McElwain has named a starter for the season opener and it will be sophomore quarterback Treon Harris over redshirt freshman Will Grier.
“We’re going to go ahead and start Treon in this ballgame at quarterback. Will obviously will play. As we said, someone starts; someone comes in, both of them I feel deserving of it. Both of them had a really good spring and fall and we’re excited about seeing those guys play. So we’ll go ahead and do it that way.”
Harris played in nine games for the Florida Gators during his freshman season in 2014, taking over as the starting quarterback for the final six games. Harris completed 55-of-111 pass attempts for 1,019 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions, while leading the Gators to a 4-2 record as a starter.
McElwain has been hesitant to name a starter since he took over the program and even though Harris will get the start on Saturday, the quarterbacks will continue to be evaluated throughout the week and especially in what they are able to do against New Mexico State on Saturday.
“I guess this is where I’m really interested to see it in The Swamp when it’s for real,” said McElwain. “I don’t think we can truly answer those questions until we get into the stadium.”
Harris missed time in the spring dealing with a death in the family and McElwain admitted that he had fallen behind Grier due to the missed time. Gator Country has learned that Harris has improved his attitude, he’s been the first guy in and the last guy out, putting in extra work with the coaches and in the film room and really made up a lot of ground and a good impression on the coaching staff.
The starter is named for one week. Grier will hope to change that notion with his play on Saturday and Harris will do what he can to ensure that the title of starting quarterback of the Florida Gators remains next to his name.
There is a long way to go, but at least the picture for Saturday became a little clearer today.
“Treon’s going to start the football game. Will’s going to play in that game a lot, too. This is still a, it’s a painting in progress. We’ve got to figure out what the backdrop is going to be.”