Ryan Young/SEC Country
Florida coach Dan Mullen relaxes before his speaking event with fans in Lakeland, Fla., on Monday night.

Dan Mullen says fall camp will separate Florida QBs

Ryan Young

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Dan Mullen launches spring speaking tour in Lakeland

Florida football coach Dan Mullen is back on the road this week for another speaking tour around the state.

He started in Lakeland, Fla., on Monday evening and talked about the Gators’ quarterback situation with reporters before addressing a large crowd from the Polk County Gator Club.

He was asked how close he believed the QB competition was between redshirt sophomores Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask during the spring.

“I haven’t paid attention to that because, part of me, it has no relevance on who plays. It’s what they do moving forward and really through 25 practices in training camp,” Mullen said. “And five is game week, so really they’ve got 20 opportunities in practice to try to separate themselves.”

Mullen’s first spring at Florida was largely about setting expectations for practices and installing a new offense and defense. That meant there was a lot to learn for the quarterbacks.

Mullen turned the spring game into more of an event to entertain fans than a true evaluation of his quarterbacks.

August will be a different story, but as far as Mullen is concerned, what the quarterbacks are doing in these next few months will be every bit as important.

“My biggest stress point to all of them, and I don’t know that they understand this yet — I hope they do; I keep pounding it home  is between the end of the spring game and the start of fall camp is when quarterbacks make their biggest improvements,” he said. “Everyone that I’ve had, whether it’s been Alex Smith  whole different player. Dak Prescott  whole different player.

“You look at guys that are real legit NFL [prospects], big-time Heisman Trophy-candidate quarterbacks, that’s when they make their huge steps. We’ve got to see what the demeanor of our guys are, if they’re that type of players.”

  • Mullen was also asked about the potential of Florida adding a graduate transfer quarterback, with redshirt freshman Jake Allen’s transfer leaving the Gators with three scholarship QBs. “This year? I don’t know. I don’t think we would take one,” he said. Read more here. 
  • That is a topic of high intrigue for Florida fans as Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow has been speculated as a possible fit for the Gators if he decides to transfer.
  • Mullen also said there is still no timeline for a ruling from the NCAA on the petitions for wide receiver transfers Van Jefferson and Trevon Grimes to be eligible to play for Florida in 2018.
  • Mullen’s speaking tour continues with a visit to Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday and a stop in Miami on Wednesday. Stick with SEC Country for full coverage.

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In Florida football news

Recruiting roundup

  • Five-star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. named Florida among his top-3 schools as he narrows his recruiting focus. Stingley, from Baton Rouge, La., is rated a top-50 overall recruit by 247Sports. The cornerback also named hometown LSU and Texas among his top 3. Read more here.
  • SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi shares more thoughts on Stingley.

Florida baseball back home

  • The No. 1 Gators (38-11) hosts South Florida (29-15) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at McKethan Stadium in their final regular-season nonconference game.
  • Florida is expected to start right-hander Tyler Dyson (5-3, 3.78 ERA), while USF goes with righty Baron Stuart (2-2, 4.83). Dyson spent most of the season in the weekend rotation for the Gators, and coach Kevin O’Sullivan has said he wants to see Dyson work his way back into form and return to the rotation.
  • Florida ace Brady Singer faced almost impossible expectations this season as a projected top draft pick, but he’s lived up to them while starting 10-1 with a 2.33 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 81 innings. Read more about his standout season here.

In basketball news

What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Mullen’s speaking tour continues the next two days in south Florida:

  • Gators basketball standing Jalen Hudson worked out with the Lakers:

  • Former Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway intent on seizing his opportunity with Cleveland Browns:

  • Florida linebackers Vosean Joseph and David Reese …

  • Interesting topic …

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