Is Rainey the next Harvin?

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Based on what we’ve been hearing from the Florida coaches and players, redshirt junior slot receiver/tailback Chris Rainey has had a monster camp and has emerged as perhaps THE playmaker on offense.

Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio calls him electric.

Urban Meyer says he has freakish ability.

Senior tailback Emmanuel Moody on Tuesday compared him to Percy Harvin — but maybe even better.

“He’s having some Percy comparisons,” Moody said. “He’s having those comparisons, except he might have more YAC than Percy. I don’t know.”

YAC, of course, stands for Yards After Catch. Rainey apparently is piling up all kinds of YAC on the practice field. He’s been making big play after big play.

“I think he’s going to have a big year this year,” Moody said. “We’re excited to see him returning punts as well.

“He’s making plays left and right. He’s taking them to the house sometimes. He’s making people miss, making people look foolish, breaking ankles out there. One time he made a play on (linebacker) Jelani Jenkins and Jelani didn’t know where Rainey was. Once he gets the ball in his hands this season, it will be electric.”

Rainey, who played tailback his first three seasons at UF, made the move to slot receiver (Harvin’s old spot) in the spring and he’s been making things happen ever since. He’s fast, he makes defenders miss, and with one cut he can turn a short gain into a home run.

Sounds like Percy. Which is who Rainey apparently has been looking like throughout preseason practice.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Percy Harvin was the strongest WR iv heard of since anquan boldin. witch in turn helped him break takles and go over the middle for the tuff catch. i hope rainy kills it this season, but he is built more like jaquize green , from the 97′ squad. thats exactly what urban meyer needs him to be! A PLAYMAKER!

  2. All has been quite, under wraps–and Rainey seems to have fulfilled Meyer’s dreams: Knowing what to do, where to go, when..and blending in his instincts, being a more complete player who, like Demps are playing new roles and giving the gators even more awesome potentials!!! (short for chompin in Austin)!!

  3. The slot is definitely a better position for Rainey. He just didnt have the body type to take a pounding at running back. He is very quick and should have multiple opportunities to get the ball in space or on the run. I think it is way too early to compare to Harvin however. Harvin had the rare combination of speed, elusiveness, and the ability to take a hit. I am not convinced Rainey can take a hit, seems like many of the hits on him are severe and he gets thrown around. I am hoping his new position fits him well and generates a threat for the Gators. Go Gators!!

  4. Better than Percy? Would love to see it, but hard to believe. Percy was electric from the moment he arrived on campus. For my money, he’s the most exciting Gator player ever. If Rainey can be better, more power to him.

  5. Not buying the “better than Harvin” comparison, but he certainly has the talent to be similar. I hope he has that type of impact on the O. BTW – Robbie says he’s a Senior, but he’s listed as a RS Junior.

  6. Do people remember the ’08 Orange and Blue game where Rainey caught the over the shoulder pass from Tebow and made the great move on Black? I’m been shocked he hasnt played more in the slot since then. We’ll see how good he is. Let’s hope he stays healthy too …

  7. It’s hard to put anyone ahead of the great Percy Harvin. But I can see a Dexter McCluster type of year from Rainey hopefully. P.S. the fans in Alabama our sooooo cocky right now they think they are the best thing with the best coach ever.

  8. As much as I loved Brandon James as a returner, I feel like having him out as a WR really threw the rhythm of our offense off last year. At his size, blocking was meh…..he was too small of a target to get the ball to if he wasn’t wide open, and it was just a tough stretch for him I think.

    I told anyone who would listen all last year that Rainey should’ve been in the slot. When this was announced in the Spring, oh happy day. I think he’ll have a monster year there.

  9. I don’t think Rainey has that same first step Harvin had, even though he is a speed demon. The difference between the two is that Percy could juke defenders with the slightest moves, he was so fast that he could subtle and defenders would bite. Chris, on the other hand, has always had ver radical moves. He can make cuts no one else can, but in the process he allows defenders to catch up to him because he’s going sideways so often. It’s almost as if that’s where he gets his joy, putting himself in impossible situations then finding a way out, like a surfer staying close to the curl then trying to escape. If Rainey can try to be more subtle, like Percy, and keep moving forward rather than sideways I think he could be very close to another Harvin. Being as good I think is impossible. Quite frankly, from what I’ve seen of him I think Debose is more in the Percy mode than Rainey. Hopefully we’ll see some of that this season.Go Gators!

  10. I’m a retired former jock now spectator. I know talent when I see it and Rainey is for real. Why hasn’t he shown this in the past? He really wasn’t given the opportunity. I’m a Minnesota “snow bird” which means I spend my fall and winters in Gainesville. After watching this 2010 Gator team last Spring and now preparing for the fall, all I can say is “Watch out” SEC. This bunch is snorting fire.

  11. Hmmm… Better than Percy? Highly doubtful. Has talent? Definitely. I think our success on offense this season, against the better half of our SEC opponents, will rely solely upon his playmaking abilities. (Perhaps an overstatement.)

  12. I hope that’s not a sign of how young our defense is… I know Rainey has blazing speed, but we’re supposed to have some pretty stout DBs with speed to match. All this preseason talk’s got me excited for the first game to see how the touches are distributed and who will be breaking the big plays. Hopefully Rainey doesn’t disappoint (especially in punt returns where last year he danced a bit too much). Less than three days for the return of the Orange and Blue!

  13. I agree with David in that Rainey is ideal for the “Percy” position. After he made that move on Black in the 08 Orange and Blue game, he was destined to replace Harvin in the slot. Not sure why Meyer went with James over him. Maybe it was seniority? But he has great hands and all the tools to play that slot position, so this is well overdue.

  14. DDR= Demps, Debose, and Rainey, brantley and the defense just have to hold steadfast, one or two receivers to have ok seasons as targets for brantley to ease into the season post tebow. DDR and moody will have to anchor the offense and the defense holds up ok, we’re in for a special season where most think we’re not going to make any noise… Gators Baby!!!!!

  15. Sorry….Rainey is the most overhyped player on the Gators roster. He hasn’t done anything….except catch a deflected pass…the entire time he has been playing in the Swamp. Oh…he does fumble a lot. It is time for Rainey to put up or shut up…or go to the bench and let Debose see what he can do….or the other young kid. I am tired of watching Rainey hold the ball out like it is a loaf of bread for someone to eat. Lot of talk about talent….not much backing it up so far….even against Miami of Ohio for goodness sakes. Frankly, the Miami of Ohio defense covered Rainey like he was a slow tight end.