- Jeff Barlis, College Football
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Editor's note: We're breaking down the Gators' two-deep depth chart every day for the next two weeks. We'll cover every position and offer a glimpse into the future.
The starter: Junior Jeff Driskel
The backup: Sophomore Skyler Mornhinweg
The lowdown: It wasn't much of a competition. With loads of talent and experience, Driskel is locked in as Florida's No. 1. He had coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper buzzing about how well his passing and running skills fit the Gators' new spread offense. Behind Driskel, there is an enticing competition brewing. After being pressed into duty as a redshirt freshman last year, Skyler Mornhinweg has an edge with his experience level. He is Driskel's backup for now, but few expect Mornhinweg to hold off two true freshmen who have obvious advantages in athleticism, arm strength and comfort in the spread. Florida coaches believe they struck gold in signing Grier and Harris, either of whom could push Driskel if he returns in 2015. For now the focus is on winning the No. 2 job this fall and possibly earning game action in a change-of-pace role. Grier got a head start by enrolling in January and participating in spring practice. He's got prototypical size, arm strength and a very quick release. Harris won't be far behind this fall, though. He won big at the highest level in the ultra-competitive Florida high school ranks and spent most of his spring break in Gainesville observing practice and sitting in on meetings. Harris and Grier expect to challenge for the backup job in fall camp and should have an entertaining battle for the next couple of years.
The future: Since the Tim Tebow era ended, the Gators have had a lot of ups and downs in recruiting quarterbacks. With excellent prospects such as Grier and Harris in the fold, Florida finally has the quality and depth it's been seeking for so long. Now the challenge is to keep it up. Recruiting for the 2015 class hasn't been easy because a few top prospects have been discouraged by the presence of Grier and Harris. But the Gators have made a high priority of signing at least one QB every season. They got their wish with a commitment from four-star dual-threat prospect Sheriron Jones, a lanky athlete from Moreno Valley, Calif., who fits well in a spread offense. It's imperative that Florida signs a prospect with the talent to push for the starting job in a couple of years and ensure the Gators have quality depth and competition in the future in case either Grier or Harris transfers.