When a borderline star like Treon Harris moves from quarterback to wide receiver, a lot of people get surprised. What these people fail to take into account is that this is partly what college football is for. College football is about solidifying the fundamentals and getting ready for the NFL. Only a tiny fraction of football stars at the NCAA level will ever see significant playing time in the pros, and oftentimes it is because of undeveloped skills. This reasoning is why Florida’s move should not be a surprise to anyone.
There’s also the team factors that need to be considered. Harris spent a lot of time at QB over the last two seasons, but Florida head coach Jim McElwain has commented that it is going to be more advantageous to the team to move him to WR. Florida has struggled lately, and they need to make moves that will help them to win games. If this is that move, then it’s a good one.
Now that Harris is no longer in contention at quarterback, Florida has four athletes that could get the main role. Luke Del Rio is considered to be the main contender as he is the only candidate who has experience playing with the team, although Austin Appleby, a transfer student from Purdue, is another talented QB. There are also two freshmen that could have a shot at the role: Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask. As practices get rolling, and as they get closer to the first game, this list of four will be whittled down. The team might not even know until midway through the season who they are going to lean on the heaviest. This is a problem that even professional football teams find themselves going through when they don’t have a franchise QB in the mix. At the college level, there’s no such thing as a franchise player, which can make it even more difficult to select the right player for the position. Having four QB candidates is still a very high number, though. This will be one interesting race to keep your eyes on.
For most teams, September 3rd is the season opener. Florida will be playing UMass in a highly anticipated game. The start of college football is always exciting, and this year will be no different. Watching the top teams make last minute adjustments to give themselves a better shot when it comes time for the National Championship is fun, and the weeks leading up to that first kickoff are almost as exciting as the games themselves.
Over the coming weeks, as schools start preseason camps and then games, there will be many moves like this. Not all of them will be as high profile as the Harris move at Florida, but they will happen all across the board. That’s part of the fun of college football. You don’t see this happen in the NFL. Once a player enters the NFL, their position is almost always secured. There was talk about another Florida player moving from QB to another offensive position a few years ago with Tim Tebow, but even this move never happened. Tebow was a solid college player, and had even won the Heisman during his time at Florida. But once a player makes the NFL, they are usually in a role and will not move. This is why this move has received so much scrutiny. But, if this is what’s best for Harris and what’s best for Florida, then it isn’t something that should be given much attention. After all, college is all about learning and growing skillsets, even for football players.