What Florida teammates are saying about QB contenders Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask
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Teammates give their takes on Florida QBs
In wrapping up and reflecting on Florida’s first spring under new coach Dan Mullen, much of the dialogue has, of course, focused on the Gators’ quarterback competition.
So far this week, SEC Country has provided a post-spring analysis on that spotlight position battle, covered Mullen’s own thoughts about the competition, looked at Mullen’s track record to see the premium he’s placed on having a mobile QB option (even if not the starter), and looked at why Mullen’s history also suggests that freshman dual-threat QB Emory Jones will have a role in the fall.
But what does the rest of the team think about leading quarterback contenders Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask?
Here’s a roundup of comments the Gators made leading up to and after the spring game:
(Note, the comments were usually in response to a specific question about one guy or the other, not a comparison of one versus the other).
Defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on Franks:
“That’s my quarterback. He came in with me. He came in early. A lot of people are always throwing negative thoughts and shade at him, but I told him, ‘We’ve got to keep playing because the guys in the pros did the same thing.’ Like I said, ‘Somebody else is competing for the same job you’re competing for. You just got to go out and do what you got to do. …
“He’s always been a leader. He’s part of the leadership committee, so obviously our guys see something in him that other people don’t. But they’re not putting on a helmet with us. They’re not playing with us.”
Linebacker David Reese on Franks:
“You know, Feleipe is probably one of the most athletic players on our whole team. A guy that big, that strong, that fast, and with an arm like that, he can make a lot of plays happen.”
Running back Jordan Scarlett on Trask:
“I think he did really well. He had a great spring overall. He had some really good scrimmages and great practices. I like his decision-making; he made some great choices and protected the ball. He made sure he had control over it. That’s what I liked about Kyle.”
Center T.J. McCoy on Trask:
“I think it’s just his will. He’s a fighter and I believe he’s a great leader, too. Every time we’re in the huddle, he’s like, ‘Hey, come on guys, let’s go get it right.’ He’s really encouraging and he’s a competitor. I think he’s really confident in everything he’s doing with calling the plays.”
Wide receiver Van Jefferson on his rapport with Franks:
“It’s developed pretty good. When I first got here, he was one of my real good friends. From then on we just kicked it every day, and we’re kind of with each other all the time, throwing, coming up here late nights in the indoor practice facility, so I think that connection’s going to be real good. …
“He’s going to be very good, I think. Of course, he has some bumps in the road and stuff like that, but other than that, he’s progressing good, and I think he’s going to be a real good quarterback.”
Cornerback Marco Wilson on both QBs:
“[For] Feleipe, just being a smarter quarterback, making better decisions and just really taking the lead. And Kyle Trask is really stepping up because last year he was injured, I believe, and he just really couldn’t do anything, but now he’s come out here and he’s handled his business. I really like how he looks.”
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In other Florida football news
- The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu reports a more optimistic timeline for rush end CeCe Jefferson’s return from shoulder surgery.
- Florida cornerback McArthur Burnett announced on Twitter he will transfer out of the program. Burnett played sparingly as a redshirt freshman last year.
- Even with Jefferson on the mend, Florida has a ton of upside along its defensive line. And there were a few very telling sequences during the spring game that showcased that. Read about it here.
- Scarlett looks ready to re-establish himself after a strong spring. Some thoughts about the veteran running back here.
- The latest edition of the Chomp Chat podcast assesses the state of the Florida football program. Listen here.
- Mullen was on the Paul Finebaum Show on Thursday and reiterated his first message to the team upon taking over the program.
- SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi wrote about Florida’s pitch to top 50 Class of 2019 recruit Mark-Antony Richards and how he, like 2018 signee Jacob Copeland, could fit into the Percy Harvin-type role in the Gators offense. “The coaches asked me what position I wanted to play and I told them running back or receiver in the slot. They said I’m the type of player that needs the ball in space and that’s what they want to try to do with me,” Richards told SEC Country. Read more here.
- Abolverdi ranked the likeliest commitments for the Gators in 2019.
- Abolverdi also broke down how Florida is looking in terms of its potential defensive back haul in this recruiting cycle.
- Elijah Blades, a 4-star cornerback in the Class of 2017 from Pasadena, Calif., is back on the Gators’ radar. He went the JUCO route to Arizona Western after failing to qualify academically at Nebraska. On Thursday, he tweeted that Florida, which had pursued him out of high school, had re-offered him a scholarship.
Another top 10 win for Florida baseball
- No. 1 Florida opened its marquee SEC series at No. 6 Kentucky with an 11-2 win on Thursday night, behind a dominant start from ace Brady Singer and plenty of offense. The Gators improved to 33-7 overall and 13-3 in the SEC. Read about it here.
- Third baseman Jonathan India’s 24-game hitting streak was snapped. That’s tied for the third-longest streak in program history, during which he batted .513 with 16 multi-hit games, 8 home runs and 21 RBI.
- Florida’s Wil Dalton clubbed his SEC-leading 14th homer and freshman Brady Smith hit his second homer. Watch them both below:
— Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) April 20, 2018
Brady Smith, my goodness. pic.twitter.com/pnhmThzOpr
— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) April 20, 2018
- The series continues Friday at 7:30 p.m. with Florida right-hander Jackson Kowar (6-1, 2.70 ERA) and Kentucky righty Sean Hjelle (5-2, 3.09) on the mound. The series finale in Lexington is set for 1 p.m. Saturday with Gators righty Tyler Dyson (5-2, 3.30) and Wildcats righty Justin Lewis (5-2, 4.64) set to pitch.
What they’re saying on Twitter
- Several Florida players reacted to Burnett’s announcement that he will transfer, including Franks, Gardner-Johnson, Scarlett, Jeawon Taylor and Lamical Perine:
Real as they come, Gonna miss my boy he definitely going to be great where ever he goes.
— Feleipe Franks (@18franks) April 20, 2018
Crazy man 🤦🏾♂️ You Still Apart of the Brotherhood ✊🏾💯 https://t.co/2F7ALs97wc
— Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (@CGJXXIII) April 20, 2018
Brother for LIFE 🤞🏽 https://t.co/YGPGGuI1dy
— Shhhhh ! (@JSavvvy) April 20, 2018
One love Brudda! https://t.co/2Oe8XlWDFj
— Jordan Scarlett (@ScarlettFever25) April 20, 2018
Wish the best for you bro gone miss you boy 💯 https://t.co/NbzfwfxnHI
— La’Mical Perine (@LP_deucedeuce) April 20, 2018
- Florida quarterback commit Jalon Jones making his intentions clear for the Gators’ 2019 recruiting class:
— Jay🔱 (@j4ymyles) April 19, 2018
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