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Which junior does Florida need back the most? I say Harvin.

What's up peoples? This is your guest Gator Clause author, Mike "Mike" McCall, filling in again for Joe, who is still pizza-wedging his way down the mountains of California.

First off, good news today (sort of) for Florida as quarterback Tim Tebow underwent successful surgery on his non-throwing shoulder to remove a bone spur and inflammation. Tebow hurt the shoulder last season and aggravated the injury early this year, which makes sense, because if you watched him closely, Tebow didn't look the same.

I've watched Tebow play in almost every game since his junior year of high school (don't worry, I went to school there, I'm not a stalker), and I've never seen him run the way he did this season. He used way more spin moves than I've ever seen him use before, opting out of his usual, punishing style. Granted, he still ran over his share of defenders, and the dude finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting and led the Gators to a national title, so who cares about a few extra spins, right?

Now that Tebow has decided to play his senior season, Florida will be favorites to win the 2009 title, but with linebacker Brandon Spikes and receiver Percy Harvin yet to choose between college and the NFL, is he the most important of the three?

Here's my rank of the Gators' talented juniors, in order of who I would take if I could only have one back:

Harvin_mug1. Percy Harvin: I know, I know. He's not Tebow, but hear me out. All three are incredible football players, so I'm splitting hairs here anyway, but I think the Gators offense would be better with Harvin and without Tebow than the other way around. UF will still have Jeffery Demps, Chris Rainey and Emmanuel Moody to carry the ball next year, and all three proved to be effective throughout the season. But without Harvin against Alabama, most of the option plays and runs that worked all year started to fail. When Percy is on the field, he makes everyone else better because defenses have to commit at least one player to follow him around, and if he leaves, it makes life harder on everyone else, including Tebow. Besides, receivers David Nelson, Riley Cooper and Deonte Thompson are much better as second, third or fourth options than they are as the go-to guy. Call me crazy, but I think John Brantley could be an efficient passer, especially with a loaded rushing attack and solid defense, meaning he'd never have to carry the team.

Tebow_heisman_kid 2. Tim Tebow: I know Tebow is the heart and soul of the team, and if he left, Harvin and Spikes would probably bail too, but for the purposes of this exercise, examining each player independently, I rank him second. Since I believe in John Brantley, I think the most important thing Tebow brings with him is his emotional leadership, not his arm or legs. Players say they're even afraid to cuss in front of him, and that dynamic will be especially important next season. The Gators will go into the year expecting another championship, and Tebow is the guy who keeps everyone from getting complacent. Part of the reason the 2007 UF team sucked was because it expected everything on a silver platter, and Tebow won't let that happen again.

Spikes_lookin_fresh 3. Brandon Spikes: He's my favorite person and player on this team, by far, but Spikes has some pretty good replacements behind him in case he leaves (although I think he'll stay). Ryan Stamper, Brandon Hicks and Dustin Doe would make a solid, experienced starting lineup, and I think Hicks will be the next great UF backer. A.J. Jones provides depth, and if John Jones, Lorenzo Edwards, Lerentee McCray and Brendan Beal pan out as expected, the Gators should have plenty of LBs flying around.

I know Tebow is the man and all, but if I have first pick from the Gators' roster, I want Harvin. But I think we can all agree that, if Harvin and Spikes both decide to stay, we'll be watching one of the best college football teams ever next fall.



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OK, I'll bite. Why is your nickname the same as your first name?

One thing you fail to mention in your post is this: we currently have the talent to replace a lot of what Harvin does if need be. Sure, it would not be just one player, but between Demps/Rainey, Debose and our WRs, we'd be fine spreading the ball around. We do not currently have the talent to replace what Tebow does.

You're absolutely right Adam. Watch this clip of Debose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZtf5VUNsHU Then watch this clip of Harvin in high school http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82gbf2q5yeI Debose looks just as good, if not better than Harvin coming out of high school. He even throws like a 45-50 yard pass in one of the clips. I can't wait to see what he can do in this offense, with all the other weapons.

Just by the numbers Tebow would be the bigger loss as Cam is gone(or is he?)and Brantley has minimal experience. I think Deonte gets more reps than Andre as Percy's replacement next season which isn't a bad thing at all. Debose can slowly be worked in while Thompson has had two years in the system.

When it's all said and done I think Percy goes and Spikes stays.

Mike pleeease keep us updated on Percy. I read he is suppose to announce today!

All three are great... Spikes in middle is great, but we have depth to replace him... Tebow is the HEART AND SOLE... Harvin is injury prone and although we all would love to have him back he could break down.

Rainey is great but also injury prone. DEMPS is solid...

The Debose WR recruit will easily slide in as the go-to-guy next season if Harvin is gone...

And don't forget about Nu'keese Richardson WR recruit.

With Billy Gonzalez WR Coach Gators have a revolving door at WR.




Guys, Debose is not a sure thing. He is still taking his visit to Miami and the two thirds of the trio are enrolling at UM. That scares me. And Harvin clearly was the best player with an injured ankle in the championship game and we want to "replace" him? I think you are all assuming that a talent like Percy Harvin is that easy to replace. UF has never had a Tebow and a Harvin and now we want to assume that it is super easy??

Can Brantley do what Tebow does? (an entire season with just two ints and all the rushing tds?). Can we replace leadership?

I do not think so. I think we will have a couple major bowl years without a national championship and then return to prominence. Of course, it might be fun if UM is back in the picture and renews that rivalry with us in some bowl game. How cool would it be to see the Gator Chomp at an orange bowl game against the U on their home turf?!??!?!

Hopefully we don't pull a Zook and lose a huge lead on them though. That was rough to watch as brock Berlin smacked us around.

I can only hope to catch up to those 5 titles to shut the U's mouth!!! Tebow!!

mm, Deonte is more of a full-time receiver than backfield threat like Harvin. Debose would be much better suited in that role.

Eddie, is Tebow the bottom of a foot/shoe? If not, I think he's the heart and SOUL of this team.

jim, no one is saying you can replace Harvin with one person. But many parts of his talent are able to be replicated by the talents of many other players on this team. Speed from Demps, cutting ability from Rainey, hands and receiving threat from Thompson, etc. Tebow's talents are not nearly as easily replaced - that is the argument.

As far as Debose, he committed to UF. Upon doing so, he already knew both his friends were going to UM. I've read a lot of recruiting stuff and pretty unanimously it says he did not want to be with both of them and the kid has always been a Gator fan. He could decommit, sure, but I doubt it.

Also, Debose was just at UF on Saturday. He was serenaded by Gators fans at the basketball game and, I think, was in attendance at the championship celebration.

This question has nothing to do with the price of tea in China....I have a friend that goes to FSU and i notice after the bowl game he ends up with a car from no where, what kind of whip does Percy and Tebow have?

Miami got the two thugs and UF got the quality kid from Seminole. Same as it ever was.

Can you replace Jo fulltime? Your 10x more knowledgeable!

Jim, when a player announces his decision on national television, it's pretty much a sure thing.

This blog has gone full retard. Tebow is 100 times more important to this team than Harvin, and that's no knock on Harvin. Tebow is possibly the best college football player in history. If he reaches the finalist round for the Heisman next year, he'll be only the third guy to ever be a Heisman finalist 3 times -- joining Archie and Herschel Walker. We beat Bama this year, or in other words WON THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP, without Harvin altogther. Beyond that, Tebow is a QB, which is by far the most important position on the field, and Brantley would be a first-year starting QB in the SEC, which means losses.

Tebow is more important to this team than any TWO guys. Tebow coming back means even more than Harvin AND Spikes coming back would.

Oh, and Debose is a lock for the Gators. Don't sweat it. He visited UF on his own dime last weekend and will be there again on an official visit this upcoming weekend. He's all Gator.

"This blog has gone full retard." LOL Great line from Tropic Thunder.

Love that post, josh. You're dead-on.

Tebow is already coming back so it is between the Juniors who have not decided.

Harvin and Spikes have till midnight tonight to decide if they are coming back or not

They should leave!

Spikes would be a high 1st round pick.

Harvin???? Injury prone, not sure who would take a chance on him in the 1st round but if he comes back he will be one year older and risk additional injury.

Sh** Dolphins took a chance on Ginn and he was hurt, of course someone would take a chance on Harvin in the first round

Just got a text from my friend at UAA who said Spikes is 100% staying and it looks like Percy is leaving.

bye bye Percy.

See U in the 2nd round Percy!

How many of you think Percy will be healthy enough to finish the NFL combined? I say he will still be injured and will not be able to work out for teams. Sure hope the Fins don't take a chance on him.

its combine

This is a big recruiting weekend for us! We have to finish strong. This was in the Palm Beach Post about who is visiting:

Here is the list of prospects expected to be in Gainesville this weekend:

RB Trent Richardson (Pensacola-Escambia): 5-11, 225, 4.50 40. Comment: Rated a 5-star and the No. 2 RB in the country, is choosing between Florida, Alabama and LSU.

TE Orson Charles (Tampa-Plant): 6-3, 240, 4.50 50. Comment: Rated a 5-star and the No. 3 TE in the country, choosing between Florida, FSU, USC, Georgia, Tennessee.

CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Gadsden, Ala.): 6-2, 180, 4.50 40. Comment: Rated a 5-star and the No. 5 CB in the country, choosing between Florida, Alabama and Texas.

OLB Jarvis Jones (Columbus, Ga.): 6-3, 220, 4.55 50. Comment: Rated a 4-star and the No. 3 strongside linebacker in the country, choosing between Florida, Georgia, LSU and Texas.

S Jawanza Starling (Tallahassee-Lincoln): 6-2, 190. Comment: Rated a 4-star and the No. 5 safety in the country, choosing between Florida, Florida State and Stanford.

CB Greg Reid (Valdosta, Ga.): 5-8, 168. Comment: Rated a 4-star and the No. 7 CB in the country, softened a previous commitment to Florida, choosing between Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Georgia.

OLB Frankie Telfort (Miami-Gulliver Prep): 5-11, 205, 4.41 40. Comment: Rated a 3-star and the No. 15 weakside linebacker in the country, choosing between Florida, Clemson, South Florida, Wake Forest.

DT Luther Robinson (Fort Pierce Westwood): 6-2, 270, 5.0 40. Comment: Rated a 3-star and the No. 38 DT in the country, choosing between Florida, Central Florida and Miami.

RB Mike Gillislee (Deland): 6-0, 190, 4.5 40. Comment: Rated a 3-star and the No. 43 RB in the country, has given his verbal commitment to Florida.

Nice copy/paste from the Post. :)

Most ridiculous thing i ever heard. The reason these option plays didnt work against Alabama is becasue they ran them all year with Harvin in the system, and for one game they didnt have him, it would throw off any offense. Do you think the option would have been the same without Tebow? This team is built around him and needs to start replacing him THIS year or it will be a mess, but trust me, Urban Meyer knows that and will handle it accordingly.

Believe me, this team will be better than they were last year, even without Harvin, and especially with a fully healthy Tim Tebow.

i agree the team should be better next year, especially the defense, but there are some questions, we are losing some seniors on the o-line, but five o-linemen did get recruited also there are questions at wide reciever after losing Murphy, Harvin and possibly Cooper to baseball, the slack should be taken up by the talent coming in but it will be interesting to see who becomes our leading receiver

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