Rainey Ready to Take on Big Role
Chris Rainey
Chris Rainey
FightinGators.com Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2010

Percy Harvin rushed for 1,852 yards and added another 1,929 yards receiving in his three years at Florida from 2006-2009, but last season, the Gators were missing that dual-threat player at the slot receiver position.

Andre Debose was expected to take on some of that responsibility his freshman season, but a hamstring injury cost him the season. And Brandon James wasn’t able to provide the same productivity as Harvin. This spring, Chris Rainey is getting his shot at the position.

Rainey has rushed for 1,227 yards and nine touchdowns over the last two seasons, but has not been a big part of the passing game in his first two full season with the Gators.

He doesn’t see why he can’t recreate the same success Harvin had in the slot.

“When I saw Percy do it, I was like, ‘I could do that,” Rainey said.

Rainey said he is enjoying the switch despite the increase in running he has had to do.

But it isn’t the running that has been the hardest thing to adjust to transitioning to wide receiver.

“It’s really tough because at running back all you have to do is listen to one play.” Rainey said. “With routes, you gotta listen to the whole play and that’s really tough when you got to pay attention to safeties, linebackers, all that, you gotta know what the other receivers are doing so you don’t run into them.”

Even though he is going to spend the entire spring season working out with the receivers, Rainey was happy to see the return of running backs coach Stan Drayton.

Drayton was the running backs coach who recruiting Rainey to Florida and was there his first year on the team before Drayton left for the same position at Tennessee.

“It’s a relief, man. That’s my favorite coach,” Rainey said.

Rainey has provided the Gators with some big plays from the running back position, but he doesn’t expect there to be a drop-off in explosive plays from the backs if he is at receiver.

“Everybody is good, so you are gonna see something amazing happen,” Rainey said.

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