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Monday, May 20, 2013
Gator Breakdown: Quinton Dunbar

By Michael DiRocco

During the summer, GatorNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Florida roster -- excluding the Gators’ 2013 recruiting class -- in our Gator Breakdown series. Starting with No. 1 Quinton Dunbar we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 97 Brad Phillips.

No. 1 Quinton Dunbar
Redshirt junior wide receiver

Expectations for 2013: Dunbar is the Gators’ most experienced receiver (50 career catches) -- Trey Burton has more catches (69) but he also spends time at running back, H-back and quarterback -- and therefore should be the leader of a group of relatively unproven players. UF needs several consistent playmakers to emerge to help the passing offense improve from its 114th national ranking in 2012 and Dunbar is the logical choice to be the Gators’ top target among wide receivers.

Quinton Dunbar, Tharold Simon
Florida's most experienced wide receiver, Quinton Dunbar could also be the Gators' best if he shows more consistency on the field.
Best-case scenario in 2013: New receivers coach Joker Phillips should make a huge difference, which would mean Dunbar and quarterback Jeff Driskel are in tune with each other regarding reading coverages and adjusting routes. That makes a 50-catch season a real possibility. Even if the receivers do improve significantly and the passing game does become a legitimate threat beyond 15 yards, the Gators aren’t all of a sudden going to sling it around like the 1990s. UF is still going to be built around the running game, but that doesn’t mean Dunbar can’t be the first UF receiver to catch 50 or more passes in a season since Riley Cooper caught 51 in 2009.

Worst-cast scenario in 2013: No one has ever said that Dunbar doesn’t work hard in practice, but his main issue has been consistency. If that continues to be a problem, the passing game could actually be worse than it was in 2012 because there’s no Jordan Reed to bail Driskel out. Dunbar will flash here and there but would have a hard time averaging the three catches per game he had last season.

Future impact: If everything goes well, Dunbar could end up putting up the kind of numbers that receivers used to produce on a regular basis at Florida. Maybe not in 2013 because there’s still so much uncertainty among the other receivers, but he and Driskel could become a pretty good combination in their senior seasons in 2014.