Toney’s quick transition for Gators

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UF true freshman Kadarius Toney has been one of the few bright spots on a struggling offense. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Going from quarterback to wide receiver can be a difficult move. But in the case of Florida freshman Kadarius Toney, the switch has gone smoothly, and quickly. Less than a month after making the switch in August, Toney was on the field making plays at slot receiver and as a wildcat QB.

“You know, he’s done a wonderful job,” UF wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon said. “As you can see, we’ve moved him all around. Playing the position of quarterback, it teaches you the entire phase of the game, the whole concept of the offense. So it was real easy for him to transition to the wide receiver spot. I was very surprised by his great ball skills.”

Dixon said the coaches will continue to expand Toney’s role.

“We’ve added a ton since the beginning of the year,” he said. “We knew he was special in the spring, as well as in fall camp. It was just a matter of when he made that transition, understanding the techniques of route-running and then we used him in some wildcat scenarios, so that package has expanded since the beginning of the year.

“We definitely hope to use him a lot more.”

WRs getting open?

Dixon said the perception that Florida’s receivers are having trouble getting open isn’t necessarily accurate.

“Not really trouble getting open,” he said. “There’s a lot that goes into the passing game. There’s protection. There’s progression as far as reads. Our part is the route-running and the execution of the routes. The top being giving indicators to the quarterback. All of that stuff is huge and it all ties together. It’s one big puzzle, and all the pieces have to fit.”

Right now, the pieces aren’t fitting very often.

13 COMMENTS

  1. The ”pieces”, the play-callers, whatever semantics they want to use, the Gators need to come up with ”more innovative ways” to get Toney the ball. To date, U.F.’s ”Toney Wildcat” version, is a ”Pop Warner little league” run around the end. Maybe it has ”some complex” blocking schemes, I’m not sure. But this much I do know, I’ve -literally- seen more creativity in J.V. high school offenses.
    So, ”Come on Gators, get up and… get creative” …and BEAT U.G.A.!!!

  2. We definitely need to use our play makers and in more creative ways if we are going to have any chance at the Dawgs. When we have used Toney in run game its been out of wildcat formation with no threat of hand off allowing defenses to zero in on the elusive young man. He ends being the only target for the defense in that formation. Toney and Dre should also be used in Jet sweeps and reverses. In the spirit of the World Series lets throw some curve balls. Go Gators

  3. I am concerned that one hit on Toney’s shoulder vs. Georgia and he will be gone for the rest of the year, which often happens when one separates one’s shoulder in football. But, concerning open receivers, please watch some replays of games with Franks as QB. The WRs do often get open, but usually they are the secondary receivers because defenders follow Franks eyes to the primary receiver and Franks never takes his eyes off of that primary receiver. He then panics when the primary receiver is covered up and leaves the pocket immediately, never seeing secondary receivers already open or breaking open. But Franks has then put his head down to leave the pocket and generally gets sacked (not the OL’s fault). Then, watch his high school video. He did the same thing there. But he was generally able to outrun high school defenders for running gains. Or he could stare down a receiver and still complete a pass because the WR was so much better than the high school DB and the total defenses did not key on his eyes like they do on the college level. When Florida gets a natural and innate QB, the Florida offense will rise up. Not before. And, believe it or not, I am starting to believe what McElwain is saying about Nussmeier after going back and watching a lot of replays of games. It is not the play calling. It is the lack of execution of the QB, mostly. And also injuries and suspensions. Let’s hope the light comes on for Franks this weekend. But that might take a miracle.

    • agree! see the Army All American game (1 for 7, 2 INTs). He yet to take the next step to the college level. If your guy won’t go through his progressions and look off the DBs Mcelwain and his staff need to get someone on the field who will Jake Allen, Kyle Trask etc…Yes we have a lot of suspensions but we also have a QB who isn’t putting our team in a position to win.

    • Rick…I to, think you are absolutely right about Franks…I remember another young QB who played for Florida who had the same tendencies…he was all everything as QB coming out of high school…big tall kid with a fairly good arm…he also, keyed in on the primary receiver…but, it didn’t take long, before, the coaches knew that QB position was not his forte… after throwing interception after interception the coaches realized he was not a very good QB and probably never would be…so, since he was such a good athlete… they made him a WR… where he flourished and became an all American WR and had many great years in the NFL…the kids name was Chris Collingsworth…..perhaps the coaches should move Franks over to WR…at 6’6″ with fairly good speed he would make a great target ….especially on jump balls…I do believe WR would be a much better situation for Franks and add great depth to our WR corp…he really has big hands…his best chance of going to the NFL is at RW and not at QB…

    • Rick: Play calling in the fourth quarter, with predictable runs up the middle and poor clock management, could stand correction, but I agree with you about the main issue is at qb. But don’t forget that TEs need to be used for more than blocking in order for this offense to click. I wish Mac were calling plays like Mark Richt does at Miami. That would be interesting to see the results.

    • Jimmee, Frank’s is not the answer, stated this his 1st spring game, 2nd spring game and now 5th start of the season I say the same thing. Listen he may can make all the throws in practice with the receivers not being covered, I get that, but processing information at game speed is not his thing. I don’t know what Jim and Doug see on game film they make the big bucks, from what I see we won’t go bowling this year with Franks, for those who stand behind him don’t gripe at the coaches for being at home this bowl season. I’m just saying.

  4. The potential remains for Toney to play QB – he certainly proved he can do this very well in high school! No matter what happens, he has already shown his amazing ability! I saw when he was injured in the LSU game (I was there) – an LSU defensive lineman grabbed Toney’s helmet and twisted his head really hard. This should have been penalized. I am grateful that he might return for the UGA game!