"Percy Position" Depth Chart Takes Shape

It was the lone question that wasn't answered this spring. It was thought that Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps, Brandon James, and true freshman Andre Debose were the players the staff was looking at to try and emulate Percy Harvin in the Gator offense after his departure. A monumental task. Yet, the staff didn't really work anyone into that role this spring. On Wednesday, Meyer talked about it.

One of the big topics for Urban Meyer during spring has been about the task of replacing Percy Harvin and everything he did in the Florida offense. An almost impossible task in respect to the NFL first rounder.

The names that have been mentioned are running backs Brandon James (senior), Chris Rainey (sophomore), and Jeff Demps (sophomore). Of course the wait is still on for true freshman receiver Andre Debose who will be arriving on campus in June straight out of high school. Debose has been mentioned numerous times by Meyer as someone they need to step up and in a hurry to help with what they want to do in the offense.

Before meeting in front of a rabid crowd of Gators at the Jacksonville Gator Club's Gator Gathering on Wednesday, Meyer met with the media to answer questions about his program. One of the topics was the "Percy Position" which may be the only spot on the roster lacking in both experience and a sure answer to who may occupy it in the fall.

Of the names mentioned above, only Rainey was available for the entire spring. Even though he was nursing a groin injury, Rainey practiced at full speed and was not limited in drills. Demps practiced early and then was released to participate on the Florida track team, where he is a big time contributor. James was out the entire spring after breaking a bone in his foot in mid January and needing the time to heal.

Rainey was the only one available, so one would think he would have gotten the workman's share of snaps at the position this spring. According to Meyer, they have changed their tune a little bit on the sophomore scat back. The Gators' head coach thinks it may be a little too much for Rainey to handle and wants him to polish his skills as a running back.

"Rainey, he can't handle all of it," Meyer said. "We're going to let him concentrate on tailback, him and (junior running back) Emmanuel Moody...You don't have time to practice it all, we said Percy do this and he did it. Rainey is a great player but he doesn't have all the awareness because he hasn't done all that kind of stuff. He can't handle all of that, same with Moody...Then Demps will be tailback and three spot."

The three spot of course is the "Percy Position", one that accounted for most of Harvin's 1,304 offensive yards and 17 touchdowns. Making all of that up is going to be left to a trio of guys that spent zero time doing it this past spring. Meyer has faith it will work out.

"Demps can handle it all," Meyer said. "I am hoping Debose (can), and Brandon James has proved he can. It's a key spot."

Fightin Gators Top Stories