GAINESVILLE, Fla. — True competitors treat every aspect of their life like a game, and they always play to win.
Steve Spurrier, for example, always found ways to compete and took golfing as serious as coaching. For Florida quarterbacks Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask, their competitive drive goes beyond the football field.
They hang out together outside of practice and school, but usually end up competing in some form or fashion.
“We’re always working on something,” Franks said. “Everything’s not surrounded by football. We do get out of the house sometimes and go do some things like golf.”
Franks and Trask have been teammates at Florida for more than a year. They’re now competing for the starting job, but that hasn’t keep them from being friends.
“We have a great relationship,” Trask said. “Sometimes on weekends, we’ll go shoot hoops or something. We’re always hanging out, playing pingpong.”
Trask prefers the court. Pingpong, oddly enough, is one of Franks’ hobbies.
“I love pingpong,” he said. “That’s my favorite thing to do.”
Trask has won some games against Franks, but admits he’s no match for him.
“I think he’s got me at pingpong,” Trask said. “I can get him a couple times at ping pong, but he practices a lot.”
They don’t compete 1-on-1 in basketball, though. Trask said they typically play with a group of people and always end up on the same team.
“He can shoot,” Franks said of Trask. “I think me and him both try to stay on the perimeter. We’re not really drive guys. We try to stay out there and shoot the ball.”
As for the football field, Trask said he admires the “cannon arm” on Franks, while Franks is impressed with Trask’s accuracy and calls him “a great guy to be around.”
Previous competitions at Florida didn’t feature off-the-field friendships between the quarterbacks, such as Will Grier versus Treon Harris and Jacoby Brissett against Jeff Driskel.
Franks and Trask, however, hit it off in January of 2016 and this year’s battle hasn’t put a strain on their relationship.
“We haven’t had any tension,” Trask said. “We both early enrolled and we’ve gotten close ever since.”
Franks said it’s important for him and Trask to treat each other as teammates and not enemies. They’ve embraced their competition this spring.
“A lot of people think it’s hatred between one quarterback and another,” Franks said. “Any competition I’ve ever been in, it’s not like that. You’re here to help each other get better. Iron sharpens iron.
“I think it’s really good. We’re really good buddies. We help each other out in everything that we do. … It’s a friendship that could possibly last for a lifetime. It’s really fun.”