Treon Harris Among Worst Florida QBs Of Last Quarter Century

    Treon Harris and the Florida Gators have lost their way, and it's because Harris is among the worst starting quarterbacks in the program's last 25 years.

    December 5, 2015

    Once upon a time, the Florida Gators’ 2015 season looked like a fairytale in the making. But Jim McElwain’s first year as head coach of the Gators has been brought back down to Earth just a bit over the course of November.

    After a 6-0 start, redshirt-freshman quarterback Will Grier was suspended, making way for sophomore Treon Harris.

    Harris’ first start of the season was a “quality loss” to LSU. He followed that up by leading the Gators to four straight wins, however the tone in Gainesville, Fla. certainly changed with how those games unfolded. Progressively, the discontent with Harris as the starter has grown, and it culminated with a 27-2 loss to rival Florida State in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium over Thanksgiving weekend.

    The Gator Nation Football Podcast addressed one of the most asked questions among Florida fans this week: why is Harris still starting?

    “It continues to get brought up, ‘How come someone else doesn’t get brought into the game?’ And the coaching answer for McElwain is — and he’s not saying this but this is what it is — is that we have a guy, in [Josh] Grady, who’s not really a quarterback … he played very few snaps at Vanderbilt,” said James Di Virgilio, co-host of the Gator Nation Football Podcast.

    Therein lies the biggest problem McElwain has: lack of quarterback depth. Jacob Guy is a walk-on quarterback. Grady has only thrown nine pass attempts in his college career, and no one else has Harris’ experience or running ability.

    Harris is a dual-threat quarterback. He, in theory, can do things that others can’t do, but the point of being a dual-threat quarterback is to make opposing defenses respect the run, thus creating better opportunities from the pocket.

    Despite plenty of time to develop, Harris hasn’t been able to take the next step as a quarterback. He hasn’t been able to read opposing defenses, and certainly hasn’t been able to make the easy pass to the open receivers. 

    “You know what you get with Treon … the worst quarterback in Gator history is gonna start an SEC Championship Game for a 10-2 team,” Di Virgilio stated. “It’s just frustrating.”

    The really frustrating part for Florida fans is that the Gators seemingly have it all this year, except for a competent quarterback and abled kicker. The defense is playing national-title caliber ball, the receivers are creating space, and Kelvin Taylor is proving to be a special talent. Even the inexperienced offensive line, seemingly the biggest question mark heading into the season, has come into its own.

    The kicking problems would likely be overshadowed if Harris wasn’t among the worst Florida quarterbacks in recent history. But he is, as proven when you stack his stats up against other less-than-stellar signal callers to wear the orange and blue.

    Kyle Morris (1988-1989)

    Games: 16
    Touchdowns passing: 12
    Interceptions: 19
    Completion percentage: 49.7 percent
    Yards Passing/Game: 145
    Touchdowns Rushing: 1

    John Brantley (2010-2011)

    Games: 24
    Touchdowns passing: 20
    Interceptions: 17
    Completion percentage: 60.5 percent
    Yards Passing/Game: 171
    Touchdowns Rushing: 0

    Jeff Driskel (2012 & 2014)

    Games: 21
    Touchdowns passing: 21
    Interceptions: 15
    Completion percentage: 59.1 percent
    Yards Passing/Game: 132
    Touchdowns Rushing: 8

    Treon Harris (2014-2015)

    Games: 18
    Touchdowns passing: 17
    Interceptions: 8
    Completion percentage: 52.2 percent
    Yards Passing/Game: 132
    Touchdowns Rushing: 3

    As for what the future has in store? Florida currently has two quarterbacks committed in its 2016 recruiting cycle (Kyle Trask and Feleipe Franks), and it’s going after one more in five-star recruit Jacob Eason, who’s currently a Georgia commit.

    Both Franks and Eason appear to have what it takes to start immediately, should they end up in Gainesville.

    Oregon State transfer Luke Del Rio will also be eligible to play after sitting out the 2015 season due to NCAA rules.

    McElwain was dealt a short quarterback hand in his first season, but Florida fans can rest easy knowing that he will get the position shored up as he continues to rebuild the program.

    MORE: Florida QB Commit Posts Confident Message

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