Florida football is entering the 2023-2024 season knowing that it’ll be a run-heavy offense. They brought in a lot of talented transfers on the OL, and have great running backs to get the job done.
But no offense is complete without being able to run and pass the ball. The Gators had a respectable passing game last season to go along with their running threats and look to be in the same boat this season.
Before we get into the specific guys lining up outside this year, I want to talk about what I mean when I say this room has a high ceiling and a low floor.
There aren’t many great expectations for this group of guys, and the consensus among the public is that Graham Mertz isn’t the type of guy who can sling it around and get wideouts to put up big numbers.
But the structure of the Gator offense is one where these receivers can thrive. For example, Ricky Pearsall is a great route runner and is able to make quick cuts and get open. Andy Jean has only gotten praise during spring camps, and his speed is a certain problem for defenses.
Xzavier Henderson hasn’t been quite as explosive as we hoped he’d be, but he’s shown flashes of what he can do in space. And guys like Caleb Douglas and Ja’Quavion Fraziers are excited to show us what they can do after a quiet year last season.
With the Gators running the ball how we think they will, these guys will all see mostly single coverage without a downfield presence by the defense. If they beat their man, or make one move with the ball, they could be gone.
So I think we will either see a WR group that thrives in the chances that they do get and break big plays, or we’ll see receivers who just do what’s asked of them and make 7-8 yard catches when the ball comes their way.
If we get the former, this offense could be lethal.
So let’s get into the faces we’ll see out on the field this year at wideout.