The Florida Gators added a huge piece to the team’s offensive rebuild by locking up a commitment from tight end transfer Jake McGee, a fifth year senior from Virginia.
McGee announced his excitement via Twitter this afternoon:
I will be playing my 5th year at The University of Florida. GO Gators!
— Jake McGee (@JakeOvaTheWorld) May 9, 2014
McGee was UVA’s leading receiver last season, bringing down 43 catches for nearly 400 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, 26 of those 43 receptions went for a first down. During his tenure at UVA, McGee played in 36 games over three seasons, caught 71 passes for 769 yards and notched seven touchdowns.
To say this is both a needed and incredible recruiting coup for Coach Will Muschamp, his staff, and the Gators is an understatement. The position of tight end has been sorely lacking a playmaker since Aaron Hernandez was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2010, and was fully depleted once Jordan Reed left for the NFL in 2012.
McGee fits perfectly into new Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper’s up-tempo style of offense, as there are numerous options for the tight end position – be it from in the slot, the nickel, or down the field. McGee is also familiar with Roper, having seen firsthand the former Duke coordinator’s offenses over the past three ACC seasons. With the addition, Florida will now have a working offense, the deepest and most competent set of wide receivers since the Urban Meyer era, and a glaring hole at TE filled by an incredibly talented athlete.
Another benefit McGee brings to the table is his experience. While highly touted freshman DeAndre Goolsby will be a threat at the tight end position, he must still get adjusted both to Roper’s system and playing NCAA football. Having McGee as a mentor will pay dividends for Goolsby, not to mention the football program’s future.
The Florida Gators are finally playing with a “full deck” on offense. McGee adds yet another exciting layer to the multi-dimensional scheme Roper is trying to deploy. All told, Gator fans who suffered so mercilessly last season – when tight ends caught a total of four receptions all year - can finally rest a little easier. The deep threat of McGee will be an absolute game-changer.
To see a highlight of the new Gator in action, below is one of the most beautiful catches you will ever witness. With his QB in trouble scrambling, McGee made the Penn State Nittany Lions weep with this catch that belonged in the Olympics, rather than the football field.
[Thanks to Only Gators Get Out Alive for the tip]