Rainey Says He's All Grown Up

Chris Rainey doesn't hesitate to admit how much he has changed off the field. The senior thinks back to the earlier part of his career at Florida, and he'll shake his head, remembering who he used to be. He calls it a process of maturing that he needed to go through. Rainey now heads into his final season at Florida as a focal point of the offense.

"I see everything from a man's prospective," Chris Rainey said. "I do everything to be professional."

It's hard for Rainey to measure how far he has come in recent years. He just refers to it as "a lot." Decision-making was once a big problem, as Rainey was arrested last September for aggravated stalking when he allegedly sent a threatening text message to a former girlfriend.

"Think before you act," Rainey said, asked what he's learned the most in recent years. "I would do something without even thinking about it. I just realized it on my own."

As Rainey heads into his senior season, he'll do so in an offense that seemed vaguely familiar once he started to learn it. After sending his first four years on campus learning the spread offense as a running back and slot receiver, Rainey will be used by offensive coordinator Charlie Weis strictly as a running back.

His speed and elusiveness seem to be a perfect fit. It's the same type of offense that saw Rainey rush for 2,478 yards and score 32 touchdowns as a senior at Lakeland High School.

"We're in an offense that I love and can't wait to perform," Rainey said. "It's pro-style and pretty similar to high school."

The I-formation and single-back sets provide a different look than what Rainey has experienced in recent years at Florida. Most of his carries in Urban Meyer's spread offense came out of the shotgun, where he would take the handoff while standing still, then need to get to top speed in a hurry.

In this pro-style offense, it's different. He'll take handoffs from John Brantley, after he lines up under center. It allows Rainey to have his momentum carrying him to the line of scrimmage and have a much easier time getting up to full speed with the ball in his hands. "I feel great about it," Rainey said. "You see the whole field. You know how the scheme works and where to cut at."

Rainey thinks the players around him have also fit. Tight end Jordan Reed has received plenty of praise from his teammates, who seems like a perfect fit in the pro-style offense. Weis has seen plenty of his tight ends have success in at the college and professional level, and Reed looks to be the next one of those.

"He's a beast," Rainey said. "Unstoppable. He reminds me of Aaron Hernandez. They're just alike—jukes, cuts, routes and everything."

With Jeff Demps missing spring practice and Rainey being the only healthy back in the spring, he took plenty of reps and learned the offense in a hurry. If he's need for 15-20 carries a game, Rainey thinks he can handle it. His career his in carries is only 16, coming against Georgia last season.

"I'm ready for it," Rainey said. "That's why every time I touch the ball at practice, I score a touchdown."

Asked to clarify, Rainey only backed off it a little bit.

"Most of the time."

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