Redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks will start at quarterback for the Florida Gators in their 2017 season opener on Saturday against the Michigan Wolverines. Coach Jim McElwain made the announcement as part of a Wednesday press conference, and Florida released the news moments afterward.
McElwain cited Franks’s “body of work” from spring to fall as the primary reason for his selection as Florida’s starter, saying “He deserves it.” Franks beat out graduate transfer Malik Zaire and redshirt junior Luke Del Rio — who began 2016 as Florida’s starting quarterback — for the role of starter, but it is likely that he will not be the only Gators passer to take snaps, as McElwain ended his presser by reaffirming that “We’ve got a plan” in regards to handling the whole game.
Franks was a four-star recruit in the class of 2016, and enrolled early in for the Spring 2016 semester after dropping a long-held commitment to LSU and committing to Florida in December 2015. He redshirted in 2016 — after a dismal showing in Florida’s 2016 spring game, and despite calls for him to play in Florida’s bowl game — and has been considered a future multi-year starter despite concerns about his lack of experience.
Starting Saturday, he’ll get a whole lot more of that.