Florida Football: Demarcus Robinson's Spring Development Huge for Gators in 2014

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterApril 2, 2014

Florida WR Demarcus Robinson
Florida WR Demarcus RobinsonAndy Lyons/Getty Images

The most important spring practice session in the SEC is taking place in Gainesville, as head coach Will Muschamp and new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper have to get the pieces of the offensive puzzle in place this spring so the Gators can hit the ground running in fall camp.

Several of those pieces are already falling into place.

Fresh off a leg injury that cost him the majority of the 2013 campaign, quarterback Jeff Driskel has put to bed any thoughts of a quarterback controversy, according to Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel. Another piece of that puzzle is wide receiver Demarcus Robinson.

Florida WR Demarcus Robinson
Florida WR Demarcus RobinsonJohn Raoux

The 6'2", 201-pound sophomore from Fort Valley, Ga., caught only six passes for 43 yards during his true freshman campaign. This spring, however, he has been impressing the coaching staff with his ability to stretch the field. 

"He has done some fantastic things in the passing game,” Muschamp told GatorZone.com's Scott Carter. "He’s an explosive receiver. He’s a tough matchup one-on-one because of his size, his athleticism. He’s got really good ball skills down the field."

That's huge for the development of the Gators' passing game, because a legitimate, consistent downfield threat is something that the offense has been sorely lacking for the better part of the Muschamp era. 

He caught 101 passes for 1,984 yards and 22 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Peach County (Ga.) High School, and came to Florida with the size and route-running ability of a seasoned veteran.

Florida WR Demarcus Robinson
Florida WR Demarcus RobinsonJames Crisp

Where he wasn't a veteran, though, was between the ears.

He was suspended twice for a total of three games during his first season in Gainesville for violation of team rules, including for the final two games of the regular season. That apparently has changed too, according to Carter.

"We mature at different times," Muschamp told GatorZone.com. "I think we’ve seen some strides there. I’ve been pleased to this point. There’s no question from a matchup standpoint, he’s a guy that can do some things."

If Robinson can become the star he was recruited to be, it would settle a lot of the issues surrounding he offense. 

The coaching staff already appears to be comfortable with Driskel running the offense, and I mentioned last month how Roper's presence may finally allow slot receiver Andre Debose to live up to the seemingly insurmountable hype that followed him to Gainesville once he returns to full speed.

Florida had to answer a lot of its offensive questions this spring, in order to allow Roper and the offensive staff to fine-tune the offense this summer. Robinson's emergence as a threat could allow them to do that in a very important year for the Florida program and Muschamp's continued employment.


Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. All recruiting information and high school statistics are courtesy of 247Sports and all college stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com.