Can Jim McElwain develop the Gators’ passing attack?

Florida has named running quarterback Treon Harris the starter for Week 1.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

(AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Can Jim McElwain develop the Gators’ passing attack?

Florida has named sophomore Treon Harris their starting quarterback for Week 1 — what can we expect from the sophomore starter?

As a freshman last season, Harris took over the starting job from Jeff Driskel in Week 10 against Georgia. He was brought in more for his legs than for his arm, dropping back to pass only 90 times in those five games to close out the season, while keeping the ball on 44 designed run — a much higher run to pass ratio than you’ll typically see under center.

Outside of a good showing against Vanderbilt, it was obvious why they limited him as a passer so much. Harris had an accuracy percentage of 60.8 for the season — well below the college average of 68.7.

This was no new thing for Florida, as the Will Muschamp era was plagued with underdeveloped passers. There is reason to believe that new head coach Jim McElwain can turn that trend around and in turn get more out of Harris through the air. At his last stop at Colorado State, McElwain developed Garett Grayson from a three-star recruit into the third quarterback chosen in the 2015 draft.

Harris will need to make strides quickly with his accuracy, as McElwain ran a far more pass-heavy scheme than Florida did a year ago. The Rams had a 57/43 run/pass split a year ago, while the Gators were at a 39/61 split.

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

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