Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's All Good for Dickey; Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Whatever -- Gators Redshirt Junior Just Wants to Contribute

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's All Good for Dickey; Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Whatever -- Gators Redshirt Junior Just Wants to Contribute

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

GAINESVILLE -- Gavin Dickey is a quarterback.

At least he is today, when the 16th-ranked Florida football team reports to Tampa to begin preparations for the Monday, Jan. 2 Outback Bowl against No. 25 Iowa.

Dickey might not be a quarterback when spring practice begins in several months. He could be a wide receiver again.

Or, he might not even be a football player anymore.

But for now, anyway, Dickey is the Gators' backup quarterback to starter Chris Leak.

"It's good," said Dickey, who came to UF as a quarterback in 2002 and spent the past two years as a backup before being moved to wide receiver this past August. "I'm just picking back up on the offense from a different perspective. I haven't played it in a while. I'm still rusty, but hopefully if I work hard enough, I'll be ready to play in a spot if they need me to in the bowl game."

The switch back to quarterback is the latest move in what has been a somewhat disappointing career for the 5-foot-11, 205-pound redshirt junior. Dickey arrived at UF as a Parade All-American, the state's Gatorade Player of the Year and a member of USA Today's National Super 25 team, but he hasn't been on the field as more than a role player.

After redshirting in 2002, Dickey played in four games in 2003, completing 6-of-8 passes for 71 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He began the season rotating with Leak and Ingle Martin but eventually fell behind both on the depth chart.

Dickey was Leak's top backup in 2004 and played in five games. Dickey also lined up at wide receiver and running back and finished the season 5-of-7 passing for 56 yards and with two carries for 5 yards.

When Urban Meyer was hired as coach in December, prep phenom quarterback Josh Portis de-committed to Utah and signed with Florida. He won the backup job in fall practice, and Meyer and the offensive staff moved Dickey to wide receiver.

Dickey appeared in all 11 games this season, but he caught just one pass for 12 yards, rushed once for 1 yard and returned two kickoffs for 34 yards. When Portis announced earlier this month that he was transferring because of a lack of playing time, Meyer turned to Dickey to be Leak's backup for the bowl game. …

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