The last time the Gators had a quarterback competition this close (in 2012), it seemed to create a divide within the team. All-America cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III said it won’t happen this fall because of the way he expects Treon Harris and Will Grier to handle the situation in preseason camp.
“They are good friends, but they both understand what’s at stake and they’re both up to compete,” Hargreaves said at SEC Media Days. “I think that’s what I like most about both of them. We don’t know who’s going to start. They don’t know who’s going to start. They understand it has to be one, there’s only one quarterback. I think that since they understand that it makes everybody else a little bit easier, knowing they know one of them is going to get picked.”
Grier ended the spring slightly ahead of Harris, but UF coach Jim McElwain said he’s not even close to naming a starter. He said he’ll wait to see how the two perform in camp and how the other players respond to them when they’re running the offense.
Hargreaves said the two QBs have different skill sets, and both are capable of leading the offense in their own way.
“I feel like Treon is more athletic. More of just a natural football player where Will is definitely your quarterback. Your normal quarterback who is strong armed and can throw it anywhere across the field,” Hargreaves said. “I don’t know how it is going to happen. I don’t know how it is going to go down. I don’t know if athleticism is going to happen or is Will being more of a quarterback going to prevail? We’ll find out.”
Said sophomore slot receiver Brandon Powell: “I really like both of them. They throw the ball well. Coach is going to make the best decision.”
There has been some talk of possibly playing both quarterbacks, but Hargreaves said it’s probably better to settle on one guy and go with him, leaving little doubt about who’s the leader of the offense.
“I haven’t seen many successful two-quarterback operations,” he said. “I feel like for them, they wouldn’t want to do a two-man rotation. Just knowing them, hanging out with them and them knowing each other, I feel like somebody has to start and that’s how it has to be.”