Welcome to the Percy Position!
Redshirt freshman Andre Debose had his first practice during light contact drills on Monday. Sure, he had been practicing this whole time, just not in any sort of contact.
Monday marked the first time that Debose had caught a ball against defenders, and he showed his stuff.
After damaging a tendon in his hamstring, he needed sit out all of last year. The injury required surgery to fix.
During his senior season, the Seminole HS star earned Offensive Player of the Year honors from the Orlando Sentinel by catching 27 passes for 664 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,332 yards on 117 carries, with 12 of them going for a touchdown. He even played the quarterback position, where he threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns.
It shouldn't be hard to see why he was deemed "the next Percy Harvin".
He committed to Florida during the Under Armour All-America Game after two of his teammates, Ray Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye, committed to Miami moments earlier.
Said coach Urban Meyer of Debose, "I don’t want to single any guy out, but he's as good as there is...I think he is the best player in America."
Coming from someone that has coached the likes of Andre Caldwell (Bengals), Louis Murphy (Raiders), and Minnesota Viking legend Cris Carter, that is a pretty bold statement.
But Meyer likes to see him as another Viking and former Florida receiver: "That happens when you show film, that the guy is really good as a player. I don’t want to say comparison, but you watch the film and you say, ‘Wow.' Whether he likes it or not, there is. That’s not a bad thing to be compared to, that’s a compliment very much so."
With the speed and quickness that Debose has, how can you question the Urbanator?
Yet he doesn't like to think of himself as the next Percy Harvin, even though he can't really think of any differences when asked about them: “Differences? Well, I think I have a little more....um, well, I really couldn't tell you any differences. I am trying to think, but I really couldn't tell you.”
Just like his predecessor, Debose showed glimpses of Harvin in Monday's practice. He dropped only one pass of around six that were thrown to him. Not bad for someone that hasn't played against the competition he has in a long time.
He even lined up at the X position when fellow teammate Deonte Thompson was not in and went for some end-arounds.
So begins Debose's reign as the next player to try to mimic the likes of Harvin. With the type of improvement that he looks to be making, it shouldn't be hard to say that he is not the next Percy Harvin, but the first Andre Debose.