Better than Ever

The Florida Gators finished the regular season with the best offense in the Southeastern Conference and ranked in the top-15 in the nation. But Percy Harvin said it could have been even better.

When the fall of 2008 rolls around, it will be Percy Harvin's wide receiving corps. For the last two seasons, he's been learning from Dallas Baker and Andre Caldwell, but next year, the receivers will look to Harvin for guidance.

"Pretty much all of us receivers do the same thing, so I'll just try and come out and lead by example," Harvin said. "I'm not saying I'm not going to have bad days, but as long as I'm working hard, I can lead by example."

Despite missing two games because of migraines, Harvin had a monster season, leading the Gators in receiving and finishing second behind Tim Tebow in rushing. But Harvin thinks the Gators could have put up even more impressive numbers throughout the season.

"We feel like we were the best this year," Harvin said. "Our defense put us in a little bind this year and we didn't get the ball back as much as we wanted. We felt like we were the best all year and that's the way we trained. We're going to come out next year and do the same thing."

Harvin said he sees the defense getting better and thinks it will be much better next season allowing the offense to do its thing more often. And with the talent returning on the offensive side of the ball, Harvin knows '08 could be special.

"I'm really excited," he said. "We got the Heisman winner coming back. We got a lot of exciting people coming back. DT [Deonte Thompson] is starting to play good. We're going to have [Riley] Cooper back, so we'll have a lot of exciting weapons coming back. We know Tebow is going to come out and do his thing, so once the defense gets a little better, we'll be all right."

Harvin could be an early favorite to represent the Gators once again in New York as a finalist for the Heisman, but he could be joined by his teammate and reigning Heisman winner Tebow. Since the Gator QB has returned from New York, Harvin has been nothing short of impressed from what he's seen out of Tebow.

"He's been out here running around like he never won that," Harvin said. "The other day I went up to him and told him my hat's off to him. Other people may have gone into hiding, but he's out here doing the same thing he's been doing and that's working hard."

And working hard will be Harvin's greatest piece of advice to the underclassmen next season because it's the advice he received from Caldwell when he came to Florida.

"When I first got here, Bubba said to go hard," Harvin said. "Not everyone's going to know the plays and you're going to mess up, so you might as well mess up and go hard. Go full speed as opposed to half speed."

But before Harvin can think about next season, he still has one game left of the 2007 season, and he wants to finish it off the right way.

"With this crazy year, there are a lot of crazy bowls," Harvin said. "We've controlled our own destiny and disappointed ourselves. So hopefully we'll come out next year and do a little better and be where we want to be."

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski


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