Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators' Toney Is Proving to Be 'Electric' Talent

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators' Toney Is Proving to Be 'Electric' Talent

Article excerpt

Byline: Phillip Heilman

GAINESVILLE | Gators coach Jim McElwain likes to call him a human joystick.

Linebacker David Reese describes him as slippery.

For opposing defenses, he could soon become a serious problem.

Two games into his freshman season, versatile UF receiver Kadarius Toney has emerged as a player who needs more opportunities as part of a Gators offense that needs a jolt amid a slow start.

"The sky is the limit for him," receiver Tyrie Cleveland said. "As [soon as] he came in during summer, I knew right then he was going to be a big part of our offense, whatever position he plays."

UF recruited Toney as a quarterback, but there is little doubt his future is at receiver.

After a quiet debut against Michigan, Toney wowed fans in the Swamp with his athleticism Saturday versus Tennessee.

His first touch came in the second quarter when he caught a pass from quarterback Feleipe Franks after running a short hitch route. Toney faked a cut inside to elude one Volunteers defender, stuttered past another near the first down marker and raced for a gain of 19 yards into Tennessee territory.

On the next play, he lined up at quarterback, took the snap and ran for a gain of five yards.

In the fourth quarter, he nearly hauled in what would have been a critical 30-yard touchdown.

Toney, who is listed as 5-foot-11 and 194 pounds, finished with four catches for 40 yards and one rushing attempt during a 26-20 victory.

"He's got to still learn and learn how to play and do some things," McElwain said of the Alabama native, who is not permitted to speak to the media because he is a freshman. "But obviously, he was a guy we felt needed to get touches. He's an electric guy, man."

The challenge now for No. 20 Florida's coaching staff is finding more ways to utilize Toney's wide range of skills - in the slot, out wide, on run-pass options - without bogging him down with too much information. …

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