Florida Team News

Could Florida’s quarterback competition finish with a surprise winner?

When Florida opens spring football practice on March 16th, the biggest question – obviously – sits at quarterback. Poor quarterback play in 2017 led to another disappointing finish for the Gators.

With improving that quarterback play in mind, Dan Mullen was brought in to replace Jim McElwain. No coach in college football owns a more sparkling reputation working with quarterbacks than Mullen. Alex Smith, Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald owe their development to him.

When Florida hits the field for spring, what will the team’s quarterback rotation look like?

“I don’t think he knows what he’s got yet,” Frank Frangie said. Mullen joined Frangie’s radio show on 1010XL Jax Sports Radio in late February.

Whoever Mullen ends up choosing as the starter, Frangie thinks the decision should begin with a long, hard look at last season’s starter, Feleipe Franks.

“The most intriguing thing is this: Feleipe Franks wasn’t very good, but was he not very good because he was coached poorly,” Frangie asked. “I do think it’s widely held as a guy who hasn’t played very much, he was asked to do too much – too many reads, make too many adjustments. He was always looking at his wristband (for play calls). He was a four-star guy that can throw it a country mile and is pretty fast and throws tight spirals – has a beautiful throwing motion. Is he a guy that’s maybe pretty good, or potentially OK, and he just needs the right guy coaching him?

“Or, will he be a bust and it wouldn’t matter who was coaching him because he didn’t play very well last year? That’s a question nobody knows.

“Before we even get to (true freshman) Emory Jones, the most interesting question to me is: is Feleipe Franks not very good or was he a young guy that was totally confused and frustrated and ultimately demoralized which is why he played so badly – because I do think there’s a toughness to him.”

RELATED: 5 reasons why Dan Mullen can take Gators from four wins to nine in 2018.

Along with the incumbent, as much as one exists, and the hotshot newcomer, two other possibilities shouldn’t be overlooked according to Frangie.

“There are two other quarterbacks on scholarship,” Frangie reminds. “If I’d have sat here in March of 1990 after Steve Spurrier had been in the job a couple months and told you, “hey, forget Brian Fox and Kyle Morris and Lex Smith, the quarterback is going to be Shane Matthews – oh, by the way, he’s going to be the SEC Player of the Year,’ you would have looked at me like I had a blue head.

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