Percy Harvin an all-purpose star for Florida Gators

Percy Harvin — a running back for this play — scores on a 26-yard run against South Carolina.

Associated Press

Percy Harvin — a running back for this play — scores on a 26-yard run against South Carolina.

GAINESVILLE — Percy Harvin's 167-yard career rushing effort against South Carolina on Saturday prompted Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier to say that on any other team in America, Harvin most likely would be a 1,000-yard rusher.

Urban Meyer doesn't disagree at all.

Calling Harvin the most dynamic player in college, Meyer realizes that the unique way the No. 3 Gators use Harvin's talent have altered the gaudy stats he might otherwise have. His role with the Gators makes it hard to tell whether Harvin is a running back or a wide receiver. Or both.

"I think he's both," Meyer said Monday. "There's times we put his butt at tailback and hand him the ball a bunch. But we're doing what we have to do to win games."

Harvin arrived in Gainesville three seasons ago hailed as the No. 1 receiver in the nation by Scout.com. But at UF, he has been all-purpose. This season, he leads Florida in receiving yards (519) and rushing yards (478). He's one of just four players in the SEC to have recorded two games with 100 or more receiving yards. And of his league-leading 14 touchdowns, seven are rushing, seven receiving.

On Monday, he was named SEC offensive player of the week after a career rushing effort and scoring a career-tying two rushing touchdowns in Florida's 56-6 win over South Carolina. Harvin's 167 yards rushing against the Gamecocks are the most by any wide receiver in the nation this year against a Top 25 team. Harvin is well aware of what might be — if he played somewhere without as much talent as Florida. But he's not complaining.

"It has crossed my mind," he said, "but our main goal is the SEC championship and maybe the national championship. As long as we're doing that, I'm fine. Just when I get the ball, I'm going to make something happen."

He might get more opportunities in a different capacity when Florida plays the Citadel on Saturday. Meyer said he's searching for ways to open things up more for Harvin — the receiver.

"I need to talk to him a little bit about this, but we might use him a little bit on the outside," Meyer said. "Whenever you're on the inside, (opponents) can have a safety and a linebacker kind of squeeze him, and that's what some teams are doing in the passing game. But on the outside, it's hard to double the guy. So there's a chance we'll do that."

Cunningham honored: Along with Harvin, junior DE Jermaine Cunningham was honored by the SEC, named defensive lineman of the week.

Cunningham had a game-high eight tackles, including two for losses (minus-5 yards). He had a forced fumble and a pass deflection and registered a half-sack (minus-2 yards).

UF-FSU TV possibilities: The TV networks have been granted a six-day selection window for Nov. 29, so kickoff for Florida-Florida State won't be determined until after this weekend's games. Under the ACC-TV package, the game will be televised at 3:30 p.m. or prime time (7:45 or 8 p.m.) on Ch. 28 or ESPN.

Conflicting loyalties: Meyer is in an interesting situation. As the former Utah coach who led an undefeated team to a BCS bowl win, Meyer is well aware of how tough it is for schools outside of major conferences to make that leap. But what if Utah ends up undefeated after the regular season? Do the Utes deserve consideration over a one-loss SEC or Big 12 team?

"Oh boy," Meyer said. "It's like they say, plead the Fifth. I'd get blown completely out of the water if I answer that one truthfully, so I'm not going to. And that's not one way or the other."

Meyer, who is a voter on the USA Today coaches poll, said he has been giving Utah its due. "I voted them real high," he said. "I think they are a hell of a team."

Injury update: Freshman DL Matt Patchan did not play against South Carolina because of a hip pointer suffered last week during practice. Meyer said Patchan should be ready to play this week.

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

Percy Harvin an all-purpose star for Florida Gators 11/17/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 17, 2008 9:39pm]

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