Florida coach Jim McElwain talks QB desires, circumstances of Treon Harris moving to WR

By Adam Silverstein
July 20, 2016
Florida coach Jim McElwain talks QB desires, circumstances of Treon Harris moving to WR

Image Credit: ESPNI

Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain‘s “car wash” through ESPN on Tuesday left little to be written about in this space. McElwain made the choice to, for the most part, stick to the talking points he’s been using all offseason, providing little insight into his aspirations for the Gators or how he thinks Florida will be different in 2016.

(Of course, early Monday morning arrests of two true freshman wide receivers didn’t help McElwain any, as he had to spend a good portion of his day answering those questions.)

The one McElwain appearance to this point that provided a bit of interesting information was an interview he conducted with Ivan Maisel on ESPN‘s Championship Drive podcast in which Maisel asked him not once but twice about junior Treon Harris and his move from quarterback to wide receiver.

McElwain, who did not once add the caveat that Harris was suspended from the program (he is enrolled for the Summer B semester) and has never addressed Harris’s position change (he’s still listed as a quarterback on Florida’s roster), did not argue against that assumption either.

At first, he tried to avoid Maisel’s question, but the answer he provided allowed for some insight into why Harris was not long for the quarterback position. It also gives a look into McElwain’s expectations when it comes to naming a starter this fall.

“In playing effective quarterback, it’s not necessarily being the guy with the strongest arm or the best feet — obviously those are things that help you play the position. But the key to playing winning football at that position is making the other 10 guys around you play at a higher level because of who you are,” he said. “A lot of times we just look at the tangibles. The intangibles, to me, are what the great quarterbacks have had and always will have. That’s the ability to get the ball to playmakers but everybody that’s out there plays better because of who’s on the field.”

Asked again by Maisel to address the position change, McElwain relented, noting that it was pretty clear to all involved that quarterback would not be in Harris’s future if he wanted to remain with the Gators.

“He kind of knows a little bit, too. You got to look at the fit. It’s nothing he did. The guys around him didn’t play great either now. I’ll never put that on a player,” he said.

“Everybody has freedom, doesn’t have to stay [here]. At the end of the day, look, we’re in this — not here to hurt anybody’s feelings. But at the same time, it is what it is. We got four guys I’m really proud of. The room is really good, and I’m excited about it.”

McElwain said he had no timetable in which to name Florida’s starting quarterback. Of course, most still expect that it will be redshirt sophomore Luke Del Rio who opens up as QB1 against UMass to start the 2016 campaign.

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