Confident Harris looks to flourish in UF’s offense


In Duke’s 52-48 loss to Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Florida’s newly hired offensive coordinator Kurt Roper gained the approval of Gator fans as his unit racked up 661 yards of total offense.

He also won over Treon Harris that night.

“I was like, ‘I hope I can play in an offense like that.’ … That was it right there,” he said.

At the time, the U.S. Army All-American had been committed to Florida State for almost six months. But Harris didn’t feel like the Seminoles’ system was suited for him, so he decided to take official visits to Florida, Auburn and Miami in January.

Harris found his fit at UF and flipped to the Gators on signing day, though he had been silently committed for a few weeks.

“I told coach (Will) Muschamp on my official visit (Jan. 17),” Harris said. “You gotta do what’s best for you, your life and your future.

“Everything as I planned it worked out.”

Treon Harris is looking to make an immediate impact at Florida. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

Harris said he ran an offense similar to Roper’s at Miami Booker T. Washington, where he won consecutive Class 4A state championships in his final two seasons of high school.

“I’m excited that he’s coming,” Roper said. “I think he sees himself fitting into what we do offensively, and that was probably the biggest factor in his decision.

“I’m sure he’s chomping at the bit to get started just like all those other (signees).”

Harris is more anxious than your typical incoming freshman. He spent his entire spring break in Gainesville this week, attending practices and quarterback meetings to “get a peak” of what things will be like for him once he enrolls.

“I’m behind,” he said, “but that’s why I’m up here in the spring learning things and getting my notes in. So when fall comes, I’ll be on point.”

Harris is gunning for the backup job, at the very least, in 2014. Not only is he undaunted by Mr. Football USA and Maxwell Award winner Will Grier, but he’s trying to give starter Jeff Driskel a run for his money.

“I got big confidence,” Harris said. “I love to compete against good guys. Like coach Roper says, ‘The best are going to play in this offense.’

“In college you gotta compete to play the position of quarterback. It doesn’t matter where you’re at. Will Grier is a great athlete, but one of us has to get the (No. 2) spot.”

After watching practice, Harris thinks Driskel, Grier and Skyler Mornhinweg all have room for improvement, and he feels one area of his game could set him apart.

“I can run better,” he said. “I can throw the ball just like those guys. I just gotta come in and learn my playbook.

“It’s going to take hard work and dedication. Coming up here and showing that I can lead my team and my offense to a national championship.”

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Harris is a big fan of Drew Brees, Johnny Manziel and Russell Wilson, players he looks to when criticized about his size.

“I hear it a lot,” Harris said. “But everybody saw what Johnny Manziel came in and did. Guys like him, mobile quarterbacks, prove that height doesn’t really mean anything.

“Short guys can throw just like a 6’5 guy. … It’s all about the heart and the passion that you got for football. You have to love this game to be the quarterback.”

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  1. Harris appears to have all the natural QB instincts, something Jeff Driskel has not displayed yet. I love the way Harris keeps his eyes focused downfield while he is scrambling and gets the ball out quickly to a receiver breaking open. He also seems to make very quick reads and can adjust down to second and third receivers well, again something Driskel has not done well up to this point as a college QB. If he practices with the Gators similar to what you see on here, Driskel may be in for a challenge for this starting QB spot this coming summer. Welcome to Gainesville, Treon Harris. Go Gators.

  2. @Tampa Gator I was about to say the same thing before the page refreshed for some reason. This kid sees the field. Something that none of our QB’s have been able to do. Our O-line has not been a strength, but you can tell how Driskel feels a little uncomfortable even during plays that he had time. If you are uncomfortable you don’t check down to your second and third options before taking off. Not with Harris. Let’s see if he can make similar plays against a bunch of 4 and 5 star athletes come Summer time.

  3. He’s an awesome athlete, with a good arm; however, he is not in the same league as Grier. Grier has an NFL arm. Hopefully, they will redshirt Grier, let Harris play the #2 position and use both Grier and Harris, with Grier being #1. Roper could use Harris as a change of pace and let him use his legs. The good thing, Harris can throw the ball, as well. Harris could end up taking the #1 job, after Driskel leaves; however, he has a long way to go to beat Grier. We are in good shape at QB!

  4. I don’t know why anyone would be so sure that Harris “is not in the same league” as Grier. It seems you’d learn from experience that high school doesn’t mean much when you don’t play good competition. Grier, like Driskel, played inferior competition in high school and we’ve seen Driskel , at least so far, is a lousy quarterback. I think Harris has a very good chance to become the starter by mid-season because Grier may be overrated due to the competition he faced and Driskel will face Alabama in his fourth game and, if he still doesn’t have a clue, why allow him back on the field. Just remember that a few years ago a guy named Brock Berlin was getting all the hype like Grier is now and he wasn’t able to ever start for the Gators.

  5. I think we’ve seen snowprint is lousy at understanding football. Seriously I was about to try to argue with you, but I know it’ll just end with me begging you to give me some actual facts or evidence and you giving the same unbacked up opinion over and over again. Seriously bro.

  6. Driskel controlled and having to follow the lead of Weis & Pease for three years. Driskel didn’t call the 3rd and 17 option pitch towards the narrow side of the field against Ga. Let’s see what happens under Roper.

    Bottomline is with Treon Harris and Will Grier we already have 2 great Qb’s in the fold under Roper. Now with his wide open offense on display this year we should see the emergence of Robinson, Fullwood and other wide outs and that will get the attention of top shelf talent that we have been missing on (Diggs and Aghalor).

  7. Thank you Dennis! That’s all I’ve been asking for. Roper is a proven OC and great at developing QBs. Let’s just let him do his job and give him and Driskel a chance at least. Can’t we just get off Driskel’s back and stop hating our own guys at least until we see what he can do under Roper?? There will be plenty of time for bashing if he doesn’t play well during the season. Hopefully more fans will see things like you do Dennis

  8. it seems like you all forgot that driskel wasnt are qb last year during that horrid season(with the exception of miami). While i agree he is hard to watch sometimes he was a true sophomore who was able to lead are mediocre team to the sugar bowl, almost the national championship. Then when we lost him our mediocre team looked just that without a leader. He is the clear starter and if he wasnt ranked so highly coming from high school none of you would be complaining

  9. As for Treon Harris’s confidence, it comes across to me as arrogance and ignorance to say “I can run better,” and “I can throw the ball just like those guys.”first of all driskel and grier are running quarterbacks as well, and if he thinks he can throw like them already then he is either our savior, or one of those cocky freshman that you all love to hate on

  10. After looking at the highlihts it sems obvious that Mr. Harris has ‘it’. Dude can scramble, is accurate, looks to have command, & can flat out chunk it. He also seems like a student of the game . How many other HS sr’s would spend their ENTIRE SPRING BREAK learning & breaking down the offense??!! I’m very excited for him to get on campus. Don’t be surpeised if he’s in the mix in the fall!! GO GATORS!!

  11. The nerve of TH to say he is just as good as the other guys, what is he thinking? Neither freshman qb has played and you people already say one is better than the other. What are you basing this on? The only true thing is that Harris played on, with, and against d1 college players in high school. Stop trying to give the job to a guy and let him earn it. If you keep doing the same things you get the same results. A true, realistic, unobjective fan wishes that UF turns it around using the best player who earns it, not the guy you have a man crush on.

  12. He has won two straight big boy state titles in high school and is pushing all the right buttons to get ahead and learn. Those are the right choices for a youngin to make and he is making them. Talen level he brings to the table speaks for itself.

    Unless we are qualified in the field of emotional behavior lets not jump to conclusion and run the risk of possibly mis-judging confidence for cocky.

    Let’s give this kid every opportunity to step up to the plate and show what he is made of. I know that when the chips are down I want a QB that is cool, confident and does the extra work not required by his scholarship.