- Jeff Barlis, College Football
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Most high school seniors treat their final spring break as a sacred event. Treon Harris, however, is not like most.
Instead of relaxing on a beach, the Florida quarterback signee is taking the concept of gym rat to new extremes by spending nearly his entire spring break at UF to immerse himself in the Gators' new offense, get a jump on the playbook and ensure that he doesn't lose too much ground in the QB competition.
Harris, a four-star prospect out of Miami Booker T. Washington High, was one of the most important recruits in the Gators' 2014 class. A 5-foot-11, 186-pound dual-threat QB, Harris was the nation's No. 7 prospect at his position and No. 163 in the ESPN 300. He led his high school to a 14-0 record, a consensus No. 1 ranking and the national championship that goes with it.
It was easily the kind of senior year that most players would celebrate with some time off. Instead, Harris' last blast for spring break has been highlighted by shadowing Florida's quarterback group from Monday through Friday.
He spoke with ESPN.com earlier this week:
How important was it to drive up to campus and see the offense firsthand?
"It means a lot to me. I'm coming in in the summer to get my workouts in, so I wanted to see a peek at what I'm going to be doing. I can't wait, but you've got to be patient and learn from these guys who've been here. I've just been in the meeting today learning how the offense is going to work."
What were your impressions of the Gators' new offense, their new coordinator Kurt Roper and how you might fit in?
"Coach Roper, you know his style of coaching is the same thing I came out of high school doing -- spread offense, no-huddle, fast-paced. Let's play ball. I see myself fitting in perfectly, playing fast, playing smart, the same things Florida is doing."
Was it hard to flip from Florida State to Florida on signing day?
"No sir. You've got to do what's best for you. At the end everything came to me. FSU has a lot of quarterback depth, man. Their pro-style offense doesn't really fit me well. [Florida's] offense fit me the best. I knew [on his official visit on Jan. 17] and I told coach [Will] Muschamp. ... Before Coach Roper got here I was watching Duke play. I always hoped I could play in an offense like that. By God's work at the end of the season Coach Roper came to Florida. They called me and came to my house. I came up here and everything ended up playing out to get me here. We worked it out."
Did the presence of another top-rated QB prospect and early enrollee in Will Grier deter you at all?
"Once you're in college, you've got to compete to play the quarterback position, so it doesn't matter where you're at. Will Grier, he's a great athlete, but I'm coming up here to get a spot. I watched all the quarterbacks today. They were working on improving their timing and everything like that. I think I can run better. I can throw the ball just like those guys. I've just got to come in and learn my playbook and I'll be good to go."
Do you think you can win the backup job?
"I've got big confidence. I love to compete against good guys. Coach Roper says the best are going to play in this offense, and I'm coming here to learn things and pick it up fast because I'm behind. But that's why I'm up here in the spring. I'm in meetings, learning, taking my notes. So when fall comes I'm going to be on point and get that role. It's going to take hard work and dedication, coming up here and showing that I'm a leader and that I can lead my team and my offense to a national championship."
How often have you heard people talk about your size at the quarterback position?
"I hear it a lot, but like Coach Roper says, size doesn't mean nothing. Everybody saw what Johnny Manziel did, guys like him, mobile quarterbacks have proven that height doesn't really mean nothing. We just go, 'Let me show y'all what I can do.' (Laughs) … Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, they won [Super Bowls]. They're short guys but they throw like 6-5 guys. That doesn't really mean nothing. It's all about the heart and the passion that you've got for football. You've got to love this game to be a quarterback."
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Most high school seniors treat their final spring break as a sacred event. Treon Harris, however, is not like most.Instead of relaxing on a beach, the Florida quarterback signee is taking the concept of gym rat to new extremes by spending nearly his entire spring break at UF to immerse himself in the Gators' new offense, get a jump on the playbook and ensure that he doesn't lose too much ground in the QB competition.