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DaKCMan AP
02-24-2009, 10:08 AM
Gators' Percy Harvin confident past UF failures will not haunt him

By Omar Kelly | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

INDIANAPOLIS - The list of Florida receivers to fall short in the NFL is long.

Jacquez Green, Reidel Anthony, Reche Caldwell, Taylor Jacobs, Travis Taylor and Chad Jackson to name a few. Of the numerous Florida receivers taken early in recent drafts, few have panned out to be stars, though Tampa Bay's Ike Hilliard has become a quality starter.

Now come Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, whose success as NFL players could either entice scouts and talent evaluators to coach Urban Meyer's spread products at Florida or sour them on these unrefined receivers.

"The system they come from is the issue, said ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay. "But back in the old days when Gaffney and Green, the guys that played for [Steve] Spurrier in that system came out in an era when other schools were running pro styles. The learning curve was so difficult for them."

McShay sees Harvin and Murphy having less of a hurdle to overcome because the spread offense Florida runs is becoming the norm in college football, which means just about every wideout in this deep receiver draft will experience similar troubles.

"It usually takes a full year for wide receivers to figure it out on the NFL level, and another for them to become productive," McShay said.

Andre Caldwell, who played under Meyer at Florida, had a decent finish in Cincinnati in his rookie season. He started four of the seven games he played late in the season, showing that Gators can make the transition. Whether that helps Harvin in the eyes of pro personnel directors remains to be seen.

"Our offense may not be the best, but it does show our playmaking ability," said Harvin, who averaged 11.4 yards per touch rushing and receiving last season. "Of course, [the spread] doesn't show our route running [skills] as much as need be. But Andre Caldwell at Cincinnati proved we can be [NFL] receivers. ... I'm not worried about that at all."

Harvin was clocked at 4.41 in the 40-yard dash Sunday, Murphy's 4.43 40 time proved he's also a blazer. But their speed has never been the issue. It's their route-running ability that is the hurdle to most talent evaluators.

"They don't run a complete route team, and not a lot of college programs do that anymore to be honest with you," said Mike Mayock, the NFL Network's lead draft analyst. "What you are getting with Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy are guys who haven't run NFL type routes. You take all the speed and explosion and ask how does that translate to an NFL offense."

Murphy, who is projected as an early second-day prospect, is motivated to make sure it does.

"We're going to end it," he said, referring to Florida's sting of lackluster pro receivers. "There hadn't been two national championships in three years at Florida yet either."

Omar Kelly can be reached at okelly@SunSentinel.com

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/football/pro/dolphins/sfl-flspharvin23sbfeb23,0,3915277.story

BigChiefFan
02-24-2009, 12:50 PM
I like Percy Harvin-he's a gamer. If he can stay healthy, I can see big things out of him.

NickAthanFan
02-24-2009, 01:33 PM
He could do great things if the right team picks him, if he gets into the wrong situation he'll be another in Florida's list of stud WR's in the NFL.