One is black, the other white and noticeably taller.

But the reality is Florida quarterbacks Treon Harris and Will Grier share more in common than most people might think. And it’s those similarities that concern new Florida coach Jim McElwain the most as the Gators prepare to host East Carolina at The Swamp on Saturday night.

Both Harris, a sophomore, and Grier, a redshirt freshman, are physically gifted athletes who were proven winners at the high school level. But, like most young quarterbacks, consistency is the one thing that eludes them at this point in their careers.

“When we go out on Saturday, we don’t get a participation ribbon,” McElwain said following Wednesday’s practice. “And I mean that sincerely that it isn’t just about participating. It’s about doing it to your fullest and doing it to your best.”

The Gators coach has said that the rotation for his quarterbacks will be similar this week against the Pirates, although it’s possible that Grier gets the starting nod this week.

It’s the idea of always playing with a sense of urgency that he’s trying to impress upon both Harris and Grier. That means bringing it every day in practice, and not just on game days.

It’s a message he’s still trying to pound home to his entire team, not just his two quarterbacks.

The past week has in many ways been a microcosm of the challenge the coach faces in trying to mold two quarterbacks with so much natural ability. Both Harris and Grier were impressive in last week’s 61-13 season-opening drubbing of overmatched New Mexico State, completing a combined 29 of 36 passes for 379 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Their decision-making and solid progressions in their reads helped account for 14 different Florida players catching a pass last week.

Harris, who started the game, completed his first seven passes and finished the evening 14 of 19 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. He did a very nice job of extending plays with his feet while always keeping his head up and looking downfield. That escape-ability could later prove advantageous behind an inexperienced Florida offensive line that entered the season with just one player having started a major college game.

His lack of size at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, however, can be apparent at times, meaning McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will likely have to devise ways this season to get Harris out on the edge more so than they would with Grier. The setback to that strategy is that it limits the amount of the field available to attack.

Grier, the 2013 national high school player of the year, completed 15 of his 17 attempts for 164 yards and two more scores in his collegiate debut, although he fumbled once. He completed his final 11 passes and added one rushing touchdown from four yards out and another electrifying jaunt of 38 yards down the middle of the Aggies defense in the second quarter to prove to doubters that he was a better athlete than perhaps given credit.

McElwain was especially happy with the way Grier ran the two-minute offense and led the Gators to a touchdown to answer a New Mexico State score late in the first half. Physically bigger than Harris at 6-feet-2, 215 pounds, Grier can see more of the field and is more capable of attacking all areas with his stronger arm. He has more of a true pocket presence than Harris, but showed last week that he also remains the same dangerous runner who ran for 2,955 yards and 31 touchdowns while in high school.

In fact, there are some who think he’s a better runner than Harris.

But playing at that same high level on a daily basis is what both quarterbacks are still figuring out. McElwain chafed at their play following Wednesday’s practice, citing two late throws in the red zone and another late throw across the middle, all of which could have easily resulted in interceptions. He didn’t say which of his quarterbacks was responsible for the shaky decisions, but it was it clear they were the target of his ire.

“I want them to go out and be great,” McElwain said. “I want them to be successful. They deserve that. What gets frustrating is when you see them maybe sometimes allow themselves to be average.”

Success is often defined as when preparation meets opportunity, and McElwain wants his guys to always be ready.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

“Other than our golf games, we don’t get do-overs in life,” he said. “The thing we can’t do is not take advantage.”