Florida Gators football: QB remains a need

Florida football fans watched in horror as one quarterback after another went down with an injury this past season.

Jeff Driskel was the first to be lost. The junior quarterback suffered a broken leg against Tennessee in Week 4 and was out for the rest of the season. Enter Tyler Murphy. The redshirt junior was thought to be nothing more than a career backup entering the 2013 season, but actually put up solid numbers before aggravating a shoulder injury against Vanderbilt that caused him to miss the rest of the season. Redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg started the final three games for the Gators and struggled mightily to say the least.

The offseason has brought on numerous changes at the quarterback position for the Gators. For starters, Murphy, who was set to compete with Driskel for the starting job this spring, has transferred to Boston College. But, he wasn’t the only quarterback to transfer. Freshman Max Staver, an ESPN 300 recruit who redshirted in 2013, has transferred to junior college.

Florida did add one of the top quarterback’s in this year’s recruiting class in Will Grier. The 6-foot-3, 181 pound Grier is already enrolled and will practice with the team this spring.

Driskel is not expected to be ready to return from his injury by the start of spring practice, meaning that Grier and Mornhinweg will be left to take the majority of the reps. Driskel’s health, along with the loss of Murphy and Staver, is why Florida needs to add at least one more quarterback in recruiting.

There are two targets that have clearly emerged: Deiondre Porter and Treon Harris. Each prospect visited Florida’s campus this past Friday.

Porter is a three-star athlete from Tampa. He played quarterback in high school, but has the ability to play cornerback, safety, wide receiver and quarterback at the next level. The 6-foot-1, 167 pound Porter had been committed to USF, but Florida has emerged late in the recruiting process. He is set to announce his college decision Monday.

Florida Gators

A commitment from Treon Harris (pictured) or Deiondre Porter would be huge for the Gators. (Photo credit: Chris Hays/Orlando Sentinel)

Harris, a four-star prospect, has been committed to Florida State since July, but Florida has offered him a scholarship. At just 5-foot-11 and 186 pounds, Harris lacks the prototypical size for a quarterback, but has a strong arm and is probably a bit more polished as a passer than Porter.

Of the two, Florida probably has a better chance at landing Porter. However, adding either one of these players, or another quarterback, is key for the Gators. Unless anybody wants to see Skyler Mornhinweg start another game anytime soon?

Read more Florida football rumors, news and opinions on our Florida Gators football page.