Nussmeier confirms Del Rio's experience has him ahead in Gators' QB competition
Following two transfers in as many seasons, former Elite 11 quarterback Luke Del Rio appears to have finally found a home in Gainesville. While it’s no secret the redshirt sophomore currently leads in the competition to start at quarterback for Florida, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier recently discussed what has pushed Del Rio to the top of the Gators’ depth chart.
During a talk at the Palm Beach County Gator Club, Nussmeier credited Del Rio as the quarterback with the most experience and knowledge of the Gators’ offense – Del Rio is the only quarterback on the roster who was with Florida last year, as the currently suspended Treon Harris is being moved to receiver.
“He has a really good understanding of what we’re doing,” Nussmeier said according to Anthony Chiang of the Palm Beach Post. “Obviously he was in the system before. He’s really grasped the system well and he really understands how to let the system work for him.”
Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby and true freshmen Kyle Trask and Feleipe Franks are the other quarterbacks competing to be named the Gators’ starter for the season opener against UMass Sept. 3.
“I think (Del Rio) had a really good spring. As coach Mac has said, maybe (Del Rio) is a little bit ahead. But we’re going to continue to let these guys compete,” Nussmeier said. “Remember, Austin did things for the first time this spring and he’s going to come back and be a lot better the second time though. Those guys continue to battle each and every day. Just as a group and the way they pushed each other, I’m excited about all four of those guys.”
After beginning his career as a walk-on at Alabama, Del Rio transferred to Oregon State before ever getting a chance to play for the Crimson Tide. In 2014, Del Rio completed 8 of 18 passes for 141 yards before transferring yet again, this time to Florida.