GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -Three years ago, Jevan Snead envisioned himself as Florida's starting quarterback, the guy who would follow Chris Leak, direct coach Urban Meyer's spread-option offense and help the Gators win another national championship.
It seemed like a perfect plan, right up until Snead realized another high school All-American, some dude named Tim Tebow, also was considering playing for the Gators.
Snead backed out of his commitment to Florida, signed with Texas in February 2006 and eventually transferred to Mississippi.
When he leads the Rebels (2-2, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) into The Swamp on Saturday, Snead's role will be much different from the one he used to imagine: he'll be trying to play spoiler against the fourth-ranked Gators (3-0, 1-0).
ly mean a lot, to be able to go into an environment like that and to be successful would be a great thing,'' Snead said.
It also might provide Snead a measure of revenge.
According to the book ``Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting,'' Meyer tried to convince Snead that Florida was recruiting Tebow as a linebacker, but Snead didn't believe it and decided to bail on the Gators.
``That's all in the past,'' Snead said. ``I'm just looking forward to the future and looking forward to going into The Swamp and playing.''
Meyer denied the book's version, saying he never told anyone he was recruiting last year's Heisman Trophy winner to play defense or any other position.
``That came out in a book?'' Meyer said. ``If that came out, that's not true. Did he say me or did he say 'some coach?' No. Of course that's not true.''
Meyer later said a lot of stories get thrown around in recruiting, indicating how this rumor might have gotten started back then.
``You have children? I have 18-year-olds, and that's what it is,'' Meyer said. ``I heard this and she said this and my girlfriend said this. That's fine. ... Does it drive you insane? Yeah. That's part of the deal.''
with the Longhorns, then opted to transfer after serving as Colt McCoy's backup as a freshman.
He sat out last season and became the starting quarterback this past spring.
He got off to a strong start, including a four-touchdown-pass performance against Wake Forest. But he showed his inexperience last week, throwing four interceptions in a 23-17 loss against Vanderbilt.
Snead still ranks third in the conference in total offense at 215.5 yards a game. He's thrown for 844 yards, with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. His mobility also has meant fewer sacks against the Rebels.
Florida is well aware of his ability.
``Talent-wise, we loved him out of high school,'' said Meyer, who added that he first recruited Snead when he was coaching at Utah. ``That was one of our favorite guys. We think he's a tremendous talent. He's got a great touch, a great release on the ball and he launches it. They'll throw it down the field. ... He's as talented as anybody in the country.''
But he's still young, and the Gators have feasted on novice quarterbacks this season.
Greg Alexander made his first career start when Hawaii opened the season at Florida, but he was benched after throwing two interceptions and getting sacked three times.
Miami's Robert Marve made his collegiate debut the following week in Gainesville, but finished with 69 yards passing and was sacked three times.
s Jonathan Crompton fared a little better in his second SEC start last week against the Gators, but he still managed only 162 yards passing and had an interception and a fumble.
Snead, meanwhile, believes he'll bounce back from his recent mistakes.
``I realized not every play is going to be a big play,'' he said. ``The offense isn't going to win every play, so I've got to know when to call it quits on a play and throw it out of bounds instead of making a poor decision.''
Snead declined to speculate where he might be had he kept his commitment to Florida. But he made it clear he has no hard feelings toward Meyer, Tebow or the Gators.
``It was a little frustrating,'' Snead said. ``I decided it wouldn't be the best situation for me, so I decided to withdraw my commitment. Fortunately, it's worked out for both schools and myself. That's such a long time in the past. It's been too long to have any hard feelings.''

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