Entering Year 3 of the Jim McElwain era in Gainesville, fans are eagerly awaiting the coach’s decision as to which quarterback will take the opening snap of the season against Michigan in Arlington. With the experienced Luke Del Rio sidelined for the spring, all eyes are currently on redshirt freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask during spring camp.
Considering the inevitable questions regarding the ongoing competition, McElwain opened his latest press conference by giving his thoughts on the young quarterbacks entering the second week of spring practice.
“Saturday’s practice was really good, especially in some situational things,” McElwain said Monday. “Both quarterbacks, I was happy to see, executed at a pretty high level. We did dummy it down a little bit, obviously for their progress, but I think the big thing is finding out the understanding of what they feel comfortable with and in going with it that way they’ve handled a lot of the new stuff that we’ve installed, new to what we’ve done in the past. So I was really happy with seeing some of that, which is good.”
While most fans seem eager to move on from the currently injured Del Rio, McElwain continues to support his most-veteran signal caller. When asked to update the status of his junior quarterback, McElwain claimed Del Rio’s absence could eventually work in his favor at some point.
“He’ll be ready to go (in the fall),” McElwain said. “I like the way he, even at practice, is talking to the guys… He’s learning to do things left-handed right now because he’s in a right-handed sling, which is good. He’s doing great.”
Understandably, fans are excited to see what the two young quarterbacks can do when given the chance, however, Del Rio performed quite well last season before getting injured against North Texas. In fact, Del Rio had 762 passing yards, six touchdowns, and only two interceptions in just over two games for the Gators before missing action due to a knee injury.
Considering Florida opens on the road, albeit on a neutral field, against a difficult opponent in Michigan and will host Tennessee in a critical early season SEC East matchup in the third week of the season, handing over the keys to the offense to an unknown player may not be the wisest move for McElwain — regardless of how popular that move may immediately be.
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