Florida Gators: Carlos Perez

Demarcus RobinsonKim Klement/USA TODAY SportsDemarcus Robinson, who got a jump on the competition by participating in spring practice, has a steep hill to climb to make an impact as a freshman receiver at Florida.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- One of the main reasons Florida's passing offense has struggled since 2009 is the lack of production -- or a playmaker -- at receiver.

If the Gators' 2013 passing offense is going to be better than the unit that ranked 114th nationally last season, the receivers must be significantly better. Redshirt junior Quinton Dunbar, redshirt senior Andre Debose, and senior Trey Burton are the most experienced receivers and should be UF's go-to playmakers, but each have limitations.

Dunbar has 50 career catches, but he hasn't developed into the downfield threat the Gators have needed. Debose (29 career catches) has been that at times, but his career has been marred by inconsistency and work-ethic issues. Burton (69 career catches) has so many roles that it's hard for him to excel at one, and he's more of a short-yardage, possession receiver.

Sophomores Latroy Pittman and Raphael Andrades each caught two passes last season and were used more as blockers than receivers.

That means UF will be depending on two or more of the five signees to make a substantial impact. Demarcus Robinson is the most likely, as he enrolled in January and participated in spring practice. But either Ahmad Fulwood, Alvin Bailey, Marqui Hawkins or Chris Thompson will have to produce, too.

But even having only one of those freshmen become a reliable and productive part of the offense might be asking too much. It's hard for true freshman receivers to make an impact -- as the past 23 years have shown.

Florida hasn't had much luck with freshman receivers, especially when it comes to being anything more than someone who gets mop-up work.

The Gators have signed 61 receivers from 1990-2012, but only 20 played as true freshmen -- and only 19 caught passes. Of those 19, only four caught more than seven passes: Reidel Anthony, Ike Hilliard, Andre Caldwell and Percy Harvin. Anthony, Hilliard and Harvin all became first-round NFL draft picks and Caldwell was a third-round pick.

Here's more proof that it takes an especially gifted player to make an impact as a freshman: Twelve the 16 receivers who played as true freshmen from 1990-2009 went on to become draft picks.

Is there an incoming receiver who can make an impact in 2013? There's no way to know right now until September, but based on the last two-plus decades, it's unlikely.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It’s Florida-Georgia week, which means it’s time to take a look back at the annual series between the two Southeastern Conference rivals.

[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
AP Photo/Phil CoaleTim Tebow and the Gators got revenge for the 'Gator Stomp' in 2008, putting a 49-10 beating on the Bulldogs.
Each day this week, GatorNation will have a top five list that captures the colorful history of the series.

Today’s list:

Top 5 heartbreaking moments in series history for Georgia:

2002: Florida 20, Georgia 13
No. 5 Georgia was unbeaten. Florida was unranked and lost its best receiver to a knee injury on the first series. Easy victory for the Bulldogs? Nope. Backup WRs Kelvin Kight (nine catches, 115 yards) and Carlos Perez (12 catches, 115 yards) responded with career days while UF’s defense kept Georgia from converting a single third down (0 for 13). Georgia WR Terrance Edwards also dropped a potential touchdown pass with less than three minutes to play.
The heartbreak: That loss is what kept Georgia from playing for a national title. The Bulldogs finished 13-1.

1993: Florida 33, Georgia 26
On a muddy, rain-soaked field, Georgia QB Eric Zeier threw an apparent game-winning 12-yard touchdown pass to WR Jerry Jerman in the final seconds. Except it didn’t count because officials ruled that UF freshman CB Anthone Lott signaled time out just before the snap. Lott was penalized for face guarding on the ensuing play, and Zeier got one more chance to win the game. His final pass bounced off the hands of WR Jeff Thomas.

2003: Florida 16, Georgia 13
The fourth-ranked Bulldogs were very much in the national title race until a Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville. Georgia ran for 202 yards and held unranked Florida to 1-for-12 on third down, but the Gators sacked QB David Greene four times and intercepted him twice. QB Chris Leak drove the Gators from their 17 to the Georgia 15, where Matt Leach kicked a game-winning field goal with 33 seconds remaining.

1995: Florida 52, Georgia 17
Why is this a heartbreaking loss? The game was being played in Athens, Ga., because of renovations to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., which is significant because UF coach Steve Spurrier found out that no team had ever scored 50 points on the Bulldogs in their home stadium. That’s why he scored a TD with 1:10 remaining in the fourth quarter. "We wanted to score 50 because it had never been done," Spurrier said after the game. "Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?"

2008: Florida 49, Georgia 10
Florida coach Urban Meyer delivered payback for the Gator Stomp – Georgia’s end-zone celebration after Knowshon Moreno’s first-quarter TD run -- the year before by calling two timeouts with less than a minute remaining to prolong the Bulldogs’ misery.


McElwain discusses new Florida football
SEC Network's Greg McElory and Booger McFarland sit down to discuss the future of Florida football with head coach Jim McElwain.