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Insider Buzz: Who Should the Florida Gators Target at QB in 2016 Class?

The Florida Gators, with new head coach Jim McElwain in tow, are beginning to turn things around in Gainesville. After landing some of the top recruits in the 2015 recruiting class, the attention has now turned to 2016, and more importantly, the quarterback crop.

Bleacher Report's National Recruiting Analyst Sanjay Kirpalani joined Stephen Nelson as they discussed which quarterback in the 2016 class the Gators should target. 

Who should Florida target? Check out the video and let us know! 

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Florida Football: What to Watch for in Gators' 2015 Spring Scrimmage

Fans inside "The Swamp" for Florida's Orange and Blue Debut won't get to see a traditional spring game this year. Depth issues—particularly along the offensive line—have prevented first-year head coach Jim McElwain from conducting true scrimmages this spring in Gainesville.

But there's still plenty to learn about the 2015 Gators on Saturday, when McElwain and his crew wrap up the spring practice session.

Can the offense show signs of life? Who will step up in the front seven? What kind of scheme will new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier employ when dual-threat quarterback Treon Harris is in the game? 

Let's get you ready for the Florida spring scrimmage with some things to keep an eye on:


Offensive Identity

It's no secret that McElwain and Nussmeier have been successful running more of a pro-style system at their various stops, but Florida ran more of a wide-open spread system first with quarterback Jeff Driskel and then with Harris last year under former offensive coordinator Kurt Roper.

How many of those elements will remain in this new system?

Some will have to when Harris is taking the snaps because, while he is a talented quarterback, he's much better suited to thrive in a multidimensional spread running attack than a traditional pro-style passing attack.

Not just for Harris, though.

Redshirt freshman Will Grier, while being a pro-style passer with an accurate arm, is athletic enough to thrive with some read-option elements as well. Since Demarcus Robinson is the only established wide receiver in Gainesville and there are plenty of running options including Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane, getting a little creative in the running game might help ease the transition this spring as McElwain continues to install his system this offseason.


Who is Will Grier, Really?

Of the quarterback contenders in the SEC who haven't taken a snap in college football, it's hard to find one more polarizing than Grier.

The Davidson, North Carolina, native came to Florida last year as the second-ranked pro-style passer in the nation, but as I pointed out earlier in the week, there are some concerns about just how good Grier really is based on the rather weak competition he routinely faced in high school.

"The big question for me has been, and will be until proven otherwise, can Will Grier play at a high enough level consistently to be a successful SEC quarterback?" Bleacher Report national video analyst Michael Felder said. "Obviously, he was a monster in high school, but the competition level left me wanting to see more."

Fans likely already have an opinion one way or the other on Grier, but the truth of the matter is that nobody truly knows.

Grier is a mystery, and the curtain will be peeled back on Saturday in The Swamp. 

If Grier, who is leading the quarterback race at the moment (due mostly to Harris' absence dealing with a death in the family), looks like he can stretch the field vertically and consistently push the ball from sideline to sideline, it will be a good sign that the hype is real and that he's ready for the challenge.

If Grier struggles, it isn't the end of the world. 

McElwain and Nussmeier haven't been able to install everything based on the depth issues up front. Of course, that won't prevent the hot takes from flying after spring practice, though.


Just How Good can the Linebackers Be?

While the offensive line's struggles have dominated the headlines this spring, the absence of Antonio Morrison and Jarrad Davis at linebacker has also been a challenge for McElwain and new defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.

That has opened the door for Alex Anzalone, Daniel McMillian and Matt Rolin to all establish themselves as more than role players and press the starters who are out for playing time.

According to Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel, the linebackers are thriving.

Are Morrison and Davis in danger of losing their jobs? Nope.

But if the reserves can at least make it a reasonable question, that'd be huge for the 2015 Gators. It'd give Collins the depth he needs to produce a competitive SEC defense.


Watch the Training Table

It's no secret that Florida is suffering through a numbers problem. After all, McElwain and former Florida head coach Will Muschamp got into a nice little passive-aggressive war of words this spring over the subject.

"You've got to play the hand you're dealt," McElwain said, according to Thomas Goldkamp of GaitorBait.net in March. "And right now, quite honestly, the hand we were dealt is really insufficient at some of the areas."

That didn't sit well with Muschamp.

"He said he could coach a dog and win," Muschamp said, according to James Crepea of the Montgomery Advertiser. "Heck, (does he) like the dog better than his players?"

Verbal jabs aside, Florida can't afford more injuries. 

The loss of offensive lineman Rod Johnson to a stinger leaves the Gators just six healthy scholarship offensive linemen, according to The Associated Press, via Fox Sports. The linebackers are thin too, and it's not like Florida is incredibly deep at wide receiver or quarterback either.

If the medical staff is busy on Saturday, that's bad news for McElwain.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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B/R Exclusive: 5-Star QB Malik Henry Plans to Enroll Early at Florida State

It's been an eventful offseason for 5-star quarterback and current Florida State pledge Malik Henry.

He's changed his address, moving from California to Florida powerhouse IMG Academy, and he earned MVP honors at the Atlanta Nike Opening Regional camp last month—which also resulted in him garnering an invitation to The Opening.

Now, Henry has more news that will undoubtedly excite Seminoles fans.

"I'm graduating early, so in a few months, I'll officially be a Seminole," Henry told Bleacher Report.

Henry confirmed those plans to Bleacher Report via text on April 8.

Florida State is seeking to replace Jameis Winston this fall, but Henry could eventually be the long-term answer for Jimbo Fisher's club moving forward.

The 6'3", 180-pounder is the nation's No. 9 player overall, the second-best pro-style passer in the country and the crown jewel of FSU's top-rated recruiting class

Getting him on campus early is sure to help him get adjusted to Fisher's offense and make the transition to the college level.

Henry—who is also a standout baseball player—has been busy adjusting to his new home since he arrived at IMG. In fact, he's yet to make it up to Tallahassee since he committed to the Seminoles last November.

However, according to Chris Nee of Noles247, that will change this weekend, as he's set to be part of a loaded visitor list heading to Tallahassee for FSU's spring game.

Accompanying him on that trip will be 4-star tight end and fellow new IMG product and FSU pledge Isaac Nauta.

Henry notes that he and Nauta, who is his roommate at IMG, have grown particularly close. The two have been working to develop a chemistry that Henry hopes will carry over to the next level.

His performance in Atlanta was one that Henry said is a reflection of the work he's put in over the offseason.

"I just want to go out there everyday and work hard to prove that I'm the best quarterback in the nation," Henry said. "That's what I look at myself as. It's not me being cocky, either. That's just the confidence I carry within myself. I'm very confident in my game. When I put my mind to something, I'm going to do it."

Henry said that he also remains in contact with Fisher and tight ends coach Tim Brewster. In particular, Fisher told him to enjoy his last few months on the prep level before he arrives in Tallahassee. 

"He was just telling me to enjoy my senior season and enjoy the time with my friends in high school," Henry said. "He also wants me to build that chemistry with Isaac since he's coming up there with me for sure. Otherwise, just have fun with it."


Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand, and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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4-Star OL and Brock Lesnar Look-Alike Parker Boudreaux Boasts over 70 Offers

With 71 offers, 4-star offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux of Orlando, Florida, is having the time of his life with his recruiting process. In addition to making unofficial visits this spring, he's also having fun being an unofficial celebrity look-alike.

"Brock Lesnar. I probably get that one every day," Boudreaux said, referring to the popular professional wrestling and mixed martial arts athlete who recently re-signed with WWE. "I'll get [Ivan] Drago from Rocky. I'll get [Brian] Bosworth. Everybody has something. It's pretty funny."

Now standing 6'4" and 295 pounds, Boudreaux is one of the few who can actually stare Lesnar eye to eye size-wise. What college coaches like about the 2016 lineman is that he has a similar mean streak on the football field as Lesnar shows at WWE events. The attitude definitely works as an offensive lineman.

Boudreaux, 17, takes the celebrity comparisons all in stride (he likes the Lesnar comparison—see his Twitter page), much like the recruiting process in general. The nation's No. 9 offensive guard isn't in any rush to make a decision about his college future, but he is making the spring count with several visits around the country. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were his latest stops, as he was in Norman last Thursday and Friday, and in Stillwater last Saturday.

Entering the week, Ole Miss and Auburn had been among his favorite visits this spring. Boudreaux said Oklahoma is right up there with the others, as he is a fan of the overall campus environment and the coaching staff.

"Norman's really cool. The fans are awesome, really nice people," Boudreaux said. "There's like 40,000 students at Oklahoma, and the farthest walk is like 12 minutes from everything. The campus is real nice. It's a real college town. I'm loving it here."

Boudreaux added that he likes the fact that Oklahoma has a great academic support system. That's one thing he said head coach Bob Stoops and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh have been stressing to him.

While it is still early in the process, Boudreaux said Oklahoma could be a strong contender when it's time to make his decision. One school to keep an eye on, however, is Oklahoma State, as he gave his trip to Stillwater high marks.

"Best facilities I've seen so far," Boudreaux said about Oklahoma State. "They have awesome, really straight-up coaches. The culture around the program is pretty cool. The campus is beautiful, and everywhere is walkable."

Recruited by Oklahoma State offensive line coach Greg Adkins and head coach Mike Gundy, Boudreaux considered the trip a pleasant surprise. He also likes the fact that early playing time in a high-octane offense is a possibility in Gundy's system.

"They only took a couple of offensive linemen for the 2015 class, so it is an amazing time to come in and play as a freshman," Boudreaux said. "I really enjoyed my visit at OSU."

Boudreaux said his final unofficial visit will be at Notre Dame this summer. In the month of March alone, Boudreaux, per his 247Sports timeline, made unofficial stops to South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama and Auburn. He also attended Clemson for a junior day.

Boudreaux said Ole Miss has a great tradition and overall culture that fit him. He said Alabama was "better than expected" and has solid facilities and friendly people. He's been to Auburn three times and said he enjoys the family atmosphere. Boudreaux said all three schools, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have genuine coaches who he can see himself playing for.

Boudreaux plays tackle at Bishop Moore Catholic, but he will line up at guard at the college level. He bench presses 365 pounds, squats 460 and deadlifts 535. The combination of early playing time, quality academics and overall comfort level with the coaching staff and the campus will help Boudreaux make a decision when that time comes.

For now, he said he's just having fun with it all. Much like he is with the celebrity look-alike chatter.


Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

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