Quinton Dunbar Must Step Up in Passing Game for Florida Gators

quinton dunbar

Daniel Shirey – USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators made a run to a BCS bowl in 2012, but did so without much help from their passing game. Quarterback Jeff Driskel is going to be counted on to air it out more in 2013 if Florida hopes to get back on top of the SEC, but Will Muschamp needs someone to step up in the passing game. Can Quinton Dunbar answer the call?

The junior was the leading pass catcher among wide receivers in 2012, hauling in 36 passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns. He was second only to tight end Jordan Reed in the passing game, but Florida needs a presence on the outside to step up next fall to allow the Gator passing game to take off. That means Dunbar must take a major step forward next season.

Florida lost three of its top six pass catchers from a season ago to graduation and lost Reed to the NFL Draft. That puts the spotlight squarely on Dunbar to figure out how to become a bigger playmaker. His 10.64 yards per reception average is far too low for a No. 1 wide receiver so he needs to figure out a way to break a few more big plays to get the offense going.

Whether that means making more defenders miss in the open field on short and underneath routes or getting behind the defense on deep patterns, Dunbar needs to figure it out to get the job done in 2013. Florida doesn’t have much of a Plan B in place right now behind him and Driskel’s development could be undercut by a lack of playmaking receivers.

With the pressure on, can Dunbar find that next level in his game in his junior season?

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