cut on his injured ankle in recent practices.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- That noted mathematician Percy Harvin emerged Monday from an almost monthlong media blackout and announced a number. That number is 90.
As in, the Florida receiver's sprained right ankle is 90 percent healthy, and he expects to play Thursday when the Gators face Oklahoma for the BCS title. For the folks who have pored over ESPN footage of Harvin's injury -- suffered Nov. 29 at Florida State -- like conspiracy buffs examining the Zapruder film, Harvin's pronouncement should set their minds at ease.
Just as Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow signals six more weeks of winter, some -- Florida coach Urban Meyer, for example -- hope the sight of Harvin planting his right foot and changing directions like lightning hopping from one cloud to another will signal another year of the Gators reigning as the kings of college football. The Sooners will get their say in all that Thursday, but Florida will come in far more confident if Harvin's ankle seems plantworthy.
Harvin saw the morale boost firsthand at practice Saturday. "Two days ago, I started cutting," Harvin said. "Once I knew I could cut, Coach [Meyer] kind of winked at me and said, 'This is going to be a great game.' "
Meyer understands that the Gators run a far less dynamic offense without Harvin. While Oklahoma backs Chris Brown and Mossis Madu should adequately fill the cleats of injured teammate DeMarco Murray, no Gator can replicate what Harvin does. As a receiver, he can turn a five-yard slant into a 70-yard touchdown. As a tailback, he has the quickest first step of any player Meyer has coached.
In three years at Florida, Harvin has gained an average of 11.5 yards every time he carries or catches the ball. If Harvin's math is correct, and Florida gets 90 percent of Harvin's magic, Meyer and the Gators will take 10.4 yards a touch Thursday.