Tebow on Harris: We’ll see what he’s made of

By Adam Silverstein
October 28, 2014

Tim Tebow never had to start as a freshman with the Florida Gators, but he still knows a thing or two about seeing action as a first-year player and competing in pressure situations as a rookie, including in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

Tebow, who finished his collegiate career with a 2-1 record as a starter against the Georgia Bulldogs, fully understands the pressure freshman quarterback Treon Harris will feel Saturday afternoon and had some advice for the young signal caller during a radio appearance Tuesday morning on 1010 XL (92.5 AM) out of Jacksonville, Florida.

“It’s his first start. He’s going to be nervous. He’s going to have butterflies. There’s going to be emotions going through him,” he said.

“Emotionally, you’re always going to be nervous. It’s a huge game. This is something that you grow up dreaming about. This is what you love. If I’m him, I’m loving it. I don’t want my first start to be against one of the schools that you get to open the season up against. You want it to be against a team like Georgia.

“If I’m him, I’m loving this opportunity and this situation to go out there and show that this is why I came to the University of Florida. I think we’ll see a lot of what he’s made of. From everything I’ve heard and seen, he’s been a winner in the past and we’ll see how he comes out and plays Saturday afternoon.”

Harris making quick decisions, something the Florida coaching staff has praised him for in the past, will be of paramount importance if he hopes to have success at EverBank Field, according to Tebow.

“You don’t want him, especially early in the game, to be sitting back there in the pocket too long trying to go through all his reads, to be a pocket passer,” Tebow said.

“In this game, let him go through [reads] 1-2, if that’s not there, step up in the pocket and go get me five yards, go get me seven yards – because he’s going to be nervous. That’s one thing that’s going to settle him down, that’s going to get him into the ball game, that’s going to really let him be able to to see the game better, get a feel for the game and not try to win it for the pocket, which can also hurt you by him forcing the ball into the Georgia secondary, which has improved a lot throughout this season to get any big plays.

“If you’re Florida in this game, you want to hit a few shots, you want him to make a few plays scrambling, get the run game going, but you don’t want to lose this thing offensively with some turnovers, which has happened the last few weeks. … You need to give Treon a little bit of time to get in the game and also find a way to get it to some of your other playmakers offensively and have them make some plays.”

Tebow also thinks Harris should rely on his athleticism to complement his passing and get him out of some potentially tough situations.

“In this game, that might be one of the best things — to get first downs and keep drives alive — is his athleticism,” he said. “His athleticism versus Missouri in those few drives, that was the best thing that we had going when he was able to get out of the pocket. I think that will be key.”

Tebow’s innate running ability was completely stymied during his first start against Georgia as he carried the ball 13 times for -15 yards, a dire complement to his 14-of-22 passing for just 236 yards and a lone touchdown.

Harris will certainly have to do better than that if the Gators are going to upset the No. 9 Bulldogs on Saturday.


  1. Michael Jones says:

    I love Tim Tebow, but in all fairness to Treon Harris, we will not necessarily “see what he is made of” in one game against UGA as a true freshman. Treon starting IMO is not so much a function of how great Treon is (and maybe he will be.. who knows… I hope so) as much as it is a function of how badly our program is in disarray.

    If Murphy or Brissett had stayed around, Treon would still be able to continue to develop at the normal rate and pace. I don’t know how much of their transferring to blame on Muschamp or how much to blame on Murphy and Brissett for not sticking it out.

    Driskel’s ups and downs will always be a mystery to me. I will always wonder how much coaching, the lack thereof, multiple systems, and other factors played into his situation.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      I don’t mind that Treon is being thrown to the fire like this. That true freshman QB for Miami is putting up crazy numbers.

      Treon should have been starting since LSU but…. Yeah.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      “Treon starting IMO is not so much a function of how great Treon is … as much as it is a function of how badly our program is in disarray.”


    • Timmy T says:

      Valid point, but I welcome Treon getting these early starts in his career. Hopefully, he learns as he goes and becomes great. If not, we have to hope the staff can come to the conclusion that he is not he answer a WHOLE lot quicker than they did with Driskel.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        Even if he plays as poorly or worse than Driskel, at least this is only his first start, not his 4th year in the program

  2. ryan v says:

    question is, say you do give him the starting job from here on out. muschamp pretty much has to because driskel alone will probably cost him his job. but say we do…..and we win. this game. maybe FSU. do you keep muschamp around? Was it driskel all along and not muschamp? ultimately it rests on the coach but what do you think?

    • Mike The Red says:

      That depends if Muschamp learned anything from the situation. If he waited this long to make a change, that is indicative of a problem.

  3. W2 says:

    Michael Jones I think both those guys left because Coach made it clear that Driskel was his starting QB. Murphy being senior couldn’t take that chance of not playing and Brissett felt he was better then Driskel but wasn’t going get a fair chance. I always said we let the wrong QB leave. I hope Harris and the team can pull this rabbit out the hat.

  4. 305Gator says:

    So what if Treon Harris comes out of the gate like gangbusters, revives the offense and beats UGA, USC and FSU, does he save Muschamp then?

    Yeah that, the tooth fairy and Santa.

    Go Gators!

  5. Michael J. says:

    I just hope he doesn’t get hurt. Face it, with the matador out there, D. J. Humphries, protecting his blind side, he’s going to take some shots. Harris is awful small. It’d be nice to see him play the opposite of Jeff Driskel. Driskel is the smallest big man I’ve ever seen, he usually crumples to the ground when touched in the slightest manner. Driskel is actually as big as Winston, but you’d never know it from the relative ease it takes to bring him down. Harris is going to have to make some plays with his legs. Florida’s passing game is atrocious, and the running backs are average, at best. Harris is going to have to create some plays with his legs, either buying time or taking off. I just worry about him being so small, he really looks tiny.

    • G2 says:

      He’s coming into a tough spot, Worlds Largest Cocktail Party for his first start but at least its his game, no looking over the shoulder. Wounder who the second option is at QB?

      I’d have him rolling out most of the time, you know the D will load the box and dare us to throw. Kids got swag, think he’ll do well!

  6. G8RFN says:

    HireTebow.com. Tebow for Head Coach.

  7. Mike The Red says:

    I think that Tebow would be a good coach. He has a way of telling-it-like-it is without throwing anyone under the bus. He has always inspired those around him to play at a higher level.

    He was done wrong by the NFL, but given what I am seeing in the NFL, maybe that was for the best. He should really consider a career coaching.

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