The backup quarterback dilemma

There's no quarterback battle for the starting position. Jeff Driskel is entrenched in that job after playing in only three games last year before a broken leg ended his season. The questions at the position begin after Driskel.

There are three options to win the backup quarterback job. When spring practices opened, it was Skyler Mornhinweg taking the first team reps. Mornhinweg started the final three games of the season after Tyler Murphy's shoulder injury forced him to the sideline.

Mornhinweg completed 69.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 334 yards, three touchdowns and one interception as the Gators lost to Florida State, Georgia Southern and South Carolina. However, the Florida coaches made the offensive playbook as minimal as possible. Mornhinweg rarely threw the ball, and when he did, it was near the line of scrimmage.

To start spring practice, the redshirt sophomore showed improvement. He made decisions quicker and his arm looked strong than it did during the final three games of 2013.

The improvement for Mornhinweg was a good sign for Florida, but it didn't take long for Will Grier to start splitting second team reps. The true freshman enrolled early and didn't take long to start picking up the offense. He was attached to the hip of either Driskel or first-year offensive coordinator Kurt Roper during almost every practice.

Each time on the practice field, Grier improved. He showed that he could throw well on the run, an important part of what the Gators expect to do on offense under Roper. His athleticism was obvious from day one, an advantage he has over Mornhinweg.

Treon Harris recently enrolled at Florida and will have fall camp to prove what he can do. He has the skillset to be a full time quarterback, but that isn't expected to happen during his freshman season with Driskel holding that job. But there is a chance Harris could still create a role for himself.

Roper was first drawn to Harris because of his athleticism. After he took the offensive coordinator job in Gainesville, the Gators began pursuit of a second quarterback in the 2014 recruiting class, hoping to find another athletic one that could potentially make an impact this fall.

Harris can still do that. Grier has the benefit of proving what he can do against the Florida defense in the spring, and Harris doesn't have much time to get settled in during the fall. However, he has proven in his high school career that he is capable of doing that.

Even if Harris isn't ready to run a majority of the passing plays in Roper's offense, his legs could give him the role of a change-of-pace quarterback for Florida. Roper used multiple quarterbacks in his time at Duke, and if that is to carry over to Gainesville, there's a chance Harris could be the one that fills the role.

Grier said throughout the recruiting process that he wasn't opposed to taking a redshirt. In fact, there were times when he said that he preferred it. If the coaching staff believes it's best for Grier's future to take that redshirt, it could turn Harris into the backup. Mornhinweg has the experience in big games from last year, so he could fill in during the early part of the season if the two freshmen aren't ready.

There are plenty of questions that need answering on the offensive side of the ball during fall camp. Driskel needs to stay healthy for the team to have a successful season, but if he's not able to do that, the Gators have to develop a trustworthy backup quarterback.


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