As the Florida Gators grind their way through fall camp, all eyes are once again on the quarterback competition, for what seems like the tenth year in a row.
While there actually has not been a full decade of preseason signal caller storylines, it’s getting pretty close to that mark.
Tim Tebow was last tossing passes for the Gators in the 2009 season, and since then Florida has started a revolving cast of characters under center. Again the question this year is who will step up at quarterback for the Gators, and whether that individual can lead Florida to success. Another uncertainty is whether or not any named starter can even play the entire season - something no starting Gator QB has been able to do since Tebow.
But, dear readers, I’m not intending to deep dive into Florida’s quarterback conundrums and calamities of the past several years, and the coverage of such. (Should you desire to go down that path, some past posts touching on that issue can be found here and here.)
Instead, let’s look to the future.
Jim McElwain has expressed contentment with his quarterback room this year, noting that he finally has the scholarship numbers there that he favors, and that the level of talent present should breed healthy competition.
That room is comprised of true freshman Jake Allen, redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks, redshirt junior Luke Del Rio, redshirt freshman Kyle Trask, and Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire. (There is also Kadarius Toney, who saw snaps at QB during Florida’s spring game, but who is listed by the Gators as an athlete and has been working at receiver during camp.)
The probable candidates for the 2017 Florida starting quarterback job are Franks, Zaire, and Del Rio.
Yes, I included Luke Del Rio. Why? It appears that Jim McElwain is including him, at least publicly, in the competition. Florida’s head coach has commented about Del Rio’s involvement in the QB race, and Del Rio has been spotted repping with the first-team in the open portions of Florida’s practices (as were Franks and Zaire).
Franks was seen as the presumptive starter after the Gators’ spring camp, and his performance in Florida’s Orange & Blue Debut back in April. A former four-star recruit with many physical gifts, the offense was expected to be his to lead until the addition of Zaire added a wrinkle to the quarterback contest. Now, opinion seems to be largely split among fans and media members as to whether Franks or Zaire will emerge under center for the Gators.
I’m not here to advocate for one signal caller over another. I actually very much do not care which player gets the nod, and who becomes the starting quarterback for Florida this season.
I realize that my apathy probably isn’t very inspiring, and that isn’t to say that I don’t want the Gators to be successful under center, and everywhere else - of course I do! That is just to say that I don’t feel strongly about one player over another. I do have some faith that the competition will shake out with the most well-suited QB winning the starting job.
That said, we do want to hear who you think should start at quarterback for Florida this season, and why.
Who do you want to see under center? What gives you confidence in that player? Who do you think will ultimately win the starting job? Tell us in the comments!
As always, this Weekly Open Thread is for any and all comments on any and all topics, with the rules of commenting decorum still in full effect.