GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Being a starting quarterback in college is a demanding job, especially at a school such as Florida.
Three statues outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium idolize the UF quarterbacks who won the Heisman Trophy, and the position comes with high expectations and pressure from fans.
Gators QB Luke Del Rio compounded that this fall by taking an insane course load for a scholarship athlete, adding even more work to his plate after winning the starting job in August.
“It’s difficult. I’m taking 16 credits right now,” Del Rio said. “I graduate in December. It was a goal of mine. That’s why I’m taking so many credits, because I wanted to graduate on time even though I’ve transferred twice.
“I actually tried to beat my sister to graduation. She’s at Alabama. But we’re going to tie. We both graduate in December.”
Del Rio is taking two more classes than some players on the football team in order to complete his bachelor’s degree in four years. The redshirt sophomore, who graduated from high school in 2013, spent one year at both Alabama and Oregon State before transferring to Florida in 2015.
Per Florida’s media relations, the majority of Florida’s players only enroll in 12 credits for full-time status, but Del Rio took on extra hours this semester despite the demands of football season.
“It’s hard,” said Del Rio, who will make his fifth career start Saturday against Georgia. “It’s really just time management. You have to plan it out. Everybody sees us play on Saturdays and it’s like ‘OK, you throw a football around for a week and then you go play.’
“We do that and we’re in school. And you have to pass, you have to get good grades. If you don’t, you can’t play. You find a way because we all want to play.”