GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Luke Del Rio entered this spring with the edge in Florida’s quarterback competition, and he still holds it after the first week of practice.
UF coach Jim McElwain expected the redshirt sophomore to be ahead in the race.
“He should be,” McElwain said Monday. “He’s been here a full year. For him, he’s got a little bit of a leg up from a knowledge standpoint with what those other guys have really done. I’ve been impressed with Luke and how he’s helping those other guys.”
McElwain was impressed with Del Rio and the other three quarterbacks after the opening day of spring ball, praising graduate transfer Austin Appleby’s experience and the arm strength of true freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask.
“The guys are doing pretty good,” McElwain said. “You can tell that they’ve done a really good job in the classroom. They know when they make a mistake. You can see it kind of register a little bit. We’re probably holding them (back).
“It will be interesting now that we get some pads on and pick it up. I thought we were a little slow delivering the ball in some of our skelly (pass skeleton drill). But the positive piece there is for the most part the ball is going in the right spot, and that’s been good to see.”
McElwain has also enjoyed watching Del Rio and Appleby take the freshmen under their wing despite the competition they’re in for playing time.
“It’s fun to see those guys working together,” McElwain said. “What’s really cool to see is those older guys taking those younger guys and teaching them how to go about being a quarterback. That’s something that I think is really good.”