GAINESVILLE -- The Gators hope to sort out their quarterback depth chart by the “15th or 16th practice,” according to coach Will Muschamp.
Jeff Driskel, who looked sharp during Thursday’s open practice, is cemented as Florida’s starter, but the battle for the backup job remains “even.”
Freshmen Treon Harris and Will Grier, along with sophomore Skyler Mornhinweg are splitting reps with the second team.
Harris and Grier both struggled with accuracy issues Thursday night, but Muschamp praised their “it” factor and intangibles -- especially so early in their careers.
“Those guys have shown some really good things as far as arm talent and poise,” he explained.
“The No. 1 thing that strikes me with both young men is they have a very positive way about themselves with the players. I think I call it the ‘it factor,’ they both have that as far as how the players respond to them. You can see a reason why they were where they were in high school and the accomplishments they have are very easy to see. They’re very talented guys, but I look at more the intangible part of that position, and they both have that.”
Meanwhile, Driskel continues to impress in Kurt Roper’s spread offense, with Muschamp saying the redshirt junior signal caller is completing 70-75 percent of his passes over the first four days of camp.
“His timing has been very good,” Muschamp said.
“He’s thrown the ball well. He’s making very good decisions in the run and pass game.”
Vernon Hargreaves III made national headlines with his injury scare Thursday night, but the rest of Florida’s defensive backs had a chance to shine without their All-American leader.
Muschamp praised the play of junior corner Brian Poole, who appears close to securing a starting job as the boundary corner opposite Hargreaves.
Sophomore Marcus Maye, normally a safety, has “done a fabulous job inside” as a nickel cornerback.
Keanu Neal, a sophomore, and senior Jabari Gorman are the frontrunners for the two starting safety spots, per Muschamp.
THIS & THAT
As part of his tour through the league, SEC head of officials Steve Shaw is in Gainesville to meet with Florida and discuss rule changes, pace and procedure. … Muschamp chalked up the kickers’ issues Thursday to poor snaps and holds. He remains adamant, though, the competition between Austin Hardin and walk-ons Brooks Abbott and Frankie Velez is open.
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