GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s quarterback competition will stretch into the season.
New Gators coach Jim McElwain said Thursday that sophomore Treon Harris and redshirt freshman Will Grier will both play in the team’s Sept. 5 season opener against New Mexico State.
“It will play itself out,” said McElwain, who has not named a starter. “Like I’ve said, and I mean this, you guys keep pushing for this, but there isn’t a timetable. The timetable is figure out a way to win the football game with whoever is moving the team at that position and getting the right parts at the other positions as well.
“By no means am I displeased with what they’re doing. But we still need to see in live action how the people around them, how they elevate the play of the people around them.”
Harris started the final six games last season, completing 49.5 percent of his passes for 1,019 yards, with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for 338 yards and three scores after replacing ineffective starter Jeff Driskel.
Grier, one of the top high school prospects in 2013, missed all of last season after injuring his lower back lifting weights.
OL IVEY SUFFERS LEG INJURY: Florida offensive tackle Martez Ivey, the prized recruit of coach Jim McElwain’s first class, is sidelined indefinitely with a leg injury.
McElwain said Ivey will have arthroscopic surgery Friday to “get that cleaned up.” McElwain declined to reveal details about Ivey’s injury.
It’s a significant setback for the already-thin Gators. Widely regarded as the top offensive line recruit last year, Ivey likely would have started the Sept. 5 opener against New Mexico State.
RB WILLIAMS LIKELY HEADED TO PROS: Injured Arkansas running back Jonathan Williams said he’ll “most likely” leave for the NFL following this season.
Williams is expected to miss this season after injuring his left foot during a scrimmage two weeks ago and later having surgery.
The senior, who led the Razorbacks with 1,190 yards rushing last season, could potentially redshirt this season and return next year, but he has already bypassed the NFL draft once.
COLONELS ADD EX-ALABAMA RB: Altee Tenpenny, a former running back at Alabama and UNLV, joined the Nicholls State football team Monday, the Daily Comet reported.
Tenpenny, a native of North Little Rock, Arkansas, was a four-star recruit and rated the eighth-best running back in the nation by Rivals in 2013.
In two seasons at Alabama, Tenpenny rushed for 218 yards on 48 attempts. He later transferred to UNLV but was kicked off the team for an unspecified violation of team rules.
A.D. SQUASHES IDEA OF PLAYER FINES: Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock quickly responded to defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s suggestion that coaches might fine players from their cost of attendance stipends by saying no such thing will happen.
New NCAA rules allow schools to pay a stipend of several thousand dollars to athletes that cover school expenses beyond tuition, fees and room and board. Virginia Tech is among the many schools paying the stipend.
Foster was quoted by reporters as saying the staff would explore fining or withholding cost of attendance money as a way to punish players for minor transgressions, creating a small Twitter firestorm.
Withholding financial aid would be an NCAA violation.
After being alerted to Foster’s comments, Babcock sent a text to The Associated Press, saying: “Will be stopped immediately.”
S McNEIL INJURED; WR HOWARD SUSPENDED: Tennessee safety LaDarrell McNeil is out indefinitely and receiver Alton “Pig” Howard has been suspended for the season opener, continuing a series of preseason hits to the Volunteers’ depth.
Vols coach Butch Jones said Thursday that McNeil was undergoing evaluation for “neck instability” and would miss “an extended period of time.” Jones said Howard was suspended from the Sept. 5 game with Bowling Green for a violation of team rules.
Jones also said wide receivers Jason Croom and Vincent Perry are undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Friday. Jones didn’t address a potential return date for either player.