Jim McElwain: There are signs of separation in Florida quarterback race

Feleipe Franks Kyle Trask Florida sideline 2016

Florida coach Jim McElwain seems closer to declaring a leader in the race to be Florida’s starting quarterback.

Redshirt freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask have competed through spring practice. McElwain acknowledged there is some separation developing between the two, but that’s where the information stops.

“I think it’s starting to sort itself out,” McElwain told reporters Monday. “The natural question is, ‘What’s sorting itself out?’ You’ll find out.”

McElwain was asked if there is separation.

“Yeah,” McElwain said. “We’re doing good.”

The Gators held a scrimmage Friday, with both Franks and Trask earning praise from McElwain. The spring game is this Friday.

“Both quarterbacks had their moments of really moving the club,” McElwain said. “I thought that was good to see, especially in the red area. I thought Feleipe got better down there. Late on one throw, but was able to see it, get it off and get another touchdown pass, which was good to see.”

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Franks would seem to have the lead, but both have the next few days to continue to build their respective cases before the spring game. McElwain said the game will feature four quarters lasting 12 minutes each, but cautioned that the scheme will be vanilla with the season opening against Michigan on September 2 in Arlington, Texas.

“I don’t need Michigan seeing what we’re doing different,” McElwain said. “They’ll obviously be watching it.”

McElwain isn’t expected to name a starting quarterback after Friday’s game, consistently mentioning the importance of how the two fare in summer and fall camp.

Friday’s exhibition will be beneficial for the fans, but isn’t going to hold a huge significance for McElwain in determining his starting quarterback.

“It’s an opportunity,” McElwain said. “Is it an end-all? Absolutely not.”

McElwain touched on other topics.

* He praised cornerback Chauncey Gardner and safety Marcell Harris for their performance in Friday’s scrimmage.

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* True freshman tight end Kemore Gamble has made a big impact as an early enrollee. McElwain said he’s a willing blocker with courage, but it’s his pass-catching ability that has impressed. “He’s got as good hand-to-eye coordination and ball skills as anyone on our team,” McElwain said. “He’ll be a factor. He’ll be playing.”

* True freshman quarterback Kadarius Toney got some work with the second team in Friday’s scrimmage. McElwain said Toney broke an explosive run and was able to make a throw downfield when the defense packed the box.

* McElwain said the lone injury was sophomore receiver Kalif Jackson straining his hamstring.

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