The passing game should be way more of a factor for the Florida Gators in 2018, now that Dan Mullen brings back his quarterback coaching ability, and offensive scheme.
A passing game also depends on a receiving group having the ability of catching the ball consistently and making plays with it once they get their hands on it.
Receivers Coach Danny Gonzalez returns as well, and has a stable of athletes, in all shapes and sizes to help bring back the success, his last Gator receiver group had in 2008, which helped bring in a National Championship, and plenty of NFL experience.
2002 was the last time the Gators had a 1,000-yard receiver. Which is insane with offenses being so pass happy these days.
Here are four players, with the help of consistent quarterback play, that can finally break the streak.
The ruling is still pending on if Trevon will be eligible for the 2018 season, but I’m going to throw him into the mix due to his pure talent.
Trevon Grimes was a five-star wide-out from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Every high-profile program in America wanted the 6’4 200lb deep threat.
He chose to attend Ohio State, but only played in two games, and accumulated 3 catches, and 20 yards. An injury kept him out most the year, causing homesickness, and loss of confidence, resulting in him wanting to move closer to home.
That decision can work wonders for he and the Gators, as Trevon now stands at 6’5 205lbs, and is tailor made for a Dan Mullen offense
Coach Gonzales will have to bring his confidence back, but if that happens? The big body receiver has the talent to be open, even when he’s covered.
Jefferson is another offseason addition, but was cleared by the NCAA to play immediately after transferring from Ole Miss once the sanctions were handed down for their recruiting violations.
He finished second in receiving at Ole Miss team last season with 42 recs, 456 yards, and 1 touchdown.
The leading receiver for the Gators only had 22 recs, 410 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
A lot goes into why the Gators were so bad last year on offense but having a guy like Jefferson can grow into a security blanket for the group of quarterbacks.
Van uses crisp route running to get open, and plucks the ball out of the sky with his strong hands. Doing most of his damage from the slot for Rebels, Jefferson will see a lot more opportunities on the outside this season.
During spring practice, Jefferson impressed coaches, and teammates with his work ethic, and has the early lead to being the first option on the outside.
For Kendarius Toney, his skills right now in his career are not one of a polished receiver that gives you 1,000 yards receiving, and that’s perfectly fine.
In 2008, the Gators had a man by the name of Percy Harvin, you may have heard of him.
Harvin never had a 1,000-yard receiving year in his college career, but would always tally 1,000 total yards, which made him the #1 option while at Florida.
Of course, I’m not saying he’s going to be the next Percy Harvin, the Gators finding a first option is far more important right now for Dan Mullen.
All Toney needs is the ball in his hands, and he’s liable to make any play a big one. He’s a natural ball carrier, now it’s time for coach Gonzales to refine his feel for route running, and there won’t be many ways to stop him.
Cleveland is 6’2 205lbs and has 4.38 speed. Credentials like that screams NFL talent, let alone a No.1 receiver.
He was the player that lead the Gators in receiving last year and could have done far better than the 22 recs, 410 yards, and 2 touchdowns he posted, since a sprained ankle sat him down majority last season.
Before the injury, Cleveland was leading the SEC in yards per game, during the first four weeks with 93.3 yards a game. Doing so by making acrobatic catches, and using that speed to separate from defenders.
So if you do the math, he could have been the player that broke the streak of not having a 1,ooo yard receiver , if he never sprains his ankle.
With the scheme vertical route heavy, and quarterbacks that should actually look like they know what they’re doing.
Tyrie is primed to leave off where he started from last year.