Florida fall practice: Harris continues to play well, Ivey could be back for Kentucky

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The QB race is heating up. You know, more than it already was.

We are just one week away from kickoff. How about that.

Needless to say, that means the practices are becoming more important and more intense.

Will Grier got much of the hype throughout spring practice and fall camp, both from myself and from other Gator media sources. And though he continues to play well, so has the other guy in the mix for the starting QB spot, Treon Harris. Thus, McElwain announced earlier this week that both QB’s will play in the season opener against New Mexico State. That’s no knock against Grier, but rather strong praise for the job Harris did of bouncing back from a poor start to fall camp.

I’ll reiterate it, just to make sure there’s no misunderstanding. From what I’ve seen with my own eyes plus what people close to the program are telling me, Grier has been stellar throughout spring and fall ball, and is still ahead of Harris. That gap has closed though, not because Grier has suddenly started to play badly (though he has cooled off slightly), but because Treon has really stepped up his game. Harris has really looked good with his deep ball of late, something he has been inconsistent with in previous practices. He has also become increasingly intelligent about when to dump the ball off and selecting his receiver.

I still think at this point that it’s Grier’s job to lose, based on a much larger sample size of impressive practice performances. But for the first time, I also think that he can lose it if he plays particularly badly in practice this week or if he does something unforgivably bad against New Mexico State. In any case, I am happy that Harris is pushing him a little bit. I don’t want Grier to win the job by default or be given it. I want him to win it, to earn it.

On another note, there’s some good news about OT Martez Ivey. He got his knee scoped yesterday morning, which was done to clean up a meniscus surgery he’d had in high school. It went pretty well, and he’s taking medication right now to help deal with the pain, but he seems to be in good spirits.

The educated guess from the UF medical staff is that he’ll be back for the Gators’ SEC opener against Kentucky on September 19th. If he isn’t healthy then, he should be ready to go the following week for the rivalry game against Tennessee. Until then, Mason Halter, David Sharpe and Frederick Johnson will take turns holding down the fort at the two OT spots (Sharpe likely on the right side, Halter on the left with Johnson backing them both up).

5 thoughts on “Florida fall practice: Harris continues to play well, Ivey could be back for Kentucky

  1. Good news on Ivey, but projecting when he’ll return is dicey at best since everyone recovers at their own pace. As for QB, unlike you, I think it’s another sign that Grier is not the player that he’s been touted to be ever since he said he was coming to UF. If he was better than Harris, he’d be the starter now. The problem is that New Mexico State is an awful team, so not much can be learned from playing such a crappy opponent. The other major schools in the state also open with cupcakes, but even Bethune-Cookman and Texas State would whip New Mexico State with little difficulty.

    1. You could be right. I concede that. However: that would mean that the people who are close to the program and watching the guys compete every day are wrong. And based on the video I’ve seen, Grier is the better QB. But again, McElwain is making a decision he’ll have to live with for three years. I’m OK with him not taking 99% sure as good enough and making 100% sure he makes the right choice.

      Also, LOL @ referring to Miami as a major team in the state. UCF probably has something to say about that.

  2. Come on Neil. It doesn’t matter if Miami has warts right now; they are a major school. And as nice a run as UCF has had, they are still a directional school

    1. I don’t even have anything against Miami. I just don’t see them as a “major school.” Where to begin?

      Their attendance is among the worst in Division I FBS. They don’t own a football stadium. They take road trips to FIU and FAU. Florida and FSU would never be caught dead playing a road game in a 28K seat stadium like that; their stature is such that they can simply pay those schools to come to their home turf and take a beating.

      In terms of on the field results? They’re even more mid major-esque there. They haven’t had a ten win season since joining the ACC in 2003. Only twice since Larry Coker left have they won more than seven games. And oh yeah, they haven’t even won a bowl game in a decade.

      Meanwhile, UCF has a Fiesta Bowl appearance and win and two top 25 finishes in the past five years. Miami may have its long, storied history, but that history is fading fast as 7-5 seasons stockpile .

      1. A lot of that is timing a circumstance.

        Bowden never had a 10 win season once the ACC expanded but they were still a major team.

        USC doesn’t have their own stadium and their attendance is fickle at best but they are still a major team.

        Miami’s biggest problem has been poor management in light of the controversies. They still have elite players just poor management.

        Randy Shannon is an amazing AHC/DC and might be a good head coach but he was faced with steering a team that was wrought with controversy.

        The 2009 team could have been amazing but there was just too much other stuff happening behind the scenes.

        Heck, look at Texas. They had a nice 8 year run under Brown but other than that there were largely mediocre for a long time under McWilliams and Mackovic

        Same with Oklahoma; when Switzer left they toiled for over a decade with Gibbs, Schnlellenberger and Blake.

        Michigan has struggled.

        Notre Dame has essentially been down since 1993 save one elite season and they don’t even really belong to a conference but they’re still a major.

        Ohio State. Earl Bruce’s tenure was…..uninspiring and the first few years of John Cooper were mediocre at best but they never stopped being viewed as a major.

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