While the Florida coaching staff still has not settled on a starting quarterback, all parties involved in the decision feel good about the eventual starter’s rapport with the wide receiving corps.
Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett confirmed on Monday what the coaches have said throughout fall practice: they are splitting first-team reps equally, 50-50.
Although neither has played the majority of snaps with the starting receivers, offensive coordinator Brent Pease believes the chemistry will be fine.
“They’ve all worked with them enough consistently,” Pease said. “I don’t think they go out there and think, ‘OK, this guy is throwing it, so I got to adjust to his ball.’ I mean, they both can spin the ball, so that’s not going to matter.”
Frankie Hammond Jr. and Quinton Dunbar were listed as the starting receivers on the depth chart Will Muschamp released on Monday.
Driskel said some of the motion in Pease’s new offense gave the receivers trouble in the spring, but the wideouts have put the issues behind them.
“They’ve progressed so much since the spring,” Driskel said. “The shifts and motions were kind of shaky. In the beginning of camp, we had a couple penalties with illegal procedure and stuff like that, but we’re really getting better and they’re polishing up their routes and motions as well.”
The Other Guys: Brissett and Driskel aren’t the only two quarterbacks getting reps, as redshirt sophomore Tyler Murphy and true freshman Skyler Mornhinweg have also gotten time under center.
Murphy has only appeared in two games in two seasons and has yet to attempt a pass. However, Pease praised Murphy’s ability to handle himself if thrown into a game.
“He has some experience in the offense from spring on, and he’s a very bright kid,” Pease said of Murphy. “If he gets in a situation, he knows how to manage things.”
Pease said Mornhinweg, a Philadelphia native who decommitted from Penn State and was a late addition to UF’s recruiting class for 2012, has shown promise. Because Brissett and Driskel are both sophomores, Mornhinweg will have time to develop.
“Skyler’s going to be a good quarterback here,” Pease said. “I think he’s still got some time to develop and I think we’re in that situation to continue to let him grow and prepare.”
What Brown Can Do for UF: There hasn’t been any doubt throughout fall practice that Mike Gillislee would be the starter at running back. The depth chart was more uncertain behind him, however, as several players battled for the No. 2 spot.
Redshirt sophomore Mack Brown is listed as the backup on the team’s first depth chart of the season.
Pease said that Brown, who has carried the ball just 15 times for 65 yards in two years, has improved several aspects of his game since 2011.
“I think Mack’s gotten better,” Pease said. “He’s become a lot more confident and he’s definitely got the ability. He’s improved his ball security. I think he’s learned more things within the offense. He understood that that’s one of the things he had to pick up. Be more consistent. ... He’s a good runner, but be more consistent in pass protection, catching the ball, the variable of plays you’re going to carry in a game plan.”
A&M Opener Postponed: Texas A&M will now begin its season on Sept. 8 when it welcomes Florida to College Station. The Aggies were supposed to kick off their season on Thursday night against Louisiana Tech in Shreveport, La., but their opener postponed due to the threat posed by Hurricane Isaac.
Contact Josh Jurnovoy at [email protected].