INDIANAPOLIS — While Florida’s quarterback play suffered down the stretch last season, former Gator Jeff Driskel was busy racking up 4,026 yards and 27 touchdowns at Louisiana Tech.
Now, he’s at the NFL scouting combine trying to make a better impression on scouts than he did on Florida coaches and fans.
His Gators career was marked by turnovers and bad losses; Driskel could never quite hold down the starting job while Florida went 7-5 in his final season.
“When people think about me in my Florida days, they want to think about the bad games,” Driskel told reporters on Thursday afternoon. “That was really highlighted. And there were some games where I didn’t play well.”
When he skipped town to Ruston, La., he left behind a packed depth chart in Gainesville.
In his words, he took more calculated risks and didn’t force footballs while putting together a memorable senior season.
“I grew as a quarterback,” he said. “That’s what happens when you get more playing time.”
The Oviedo, Fla., native didn’t admit to thinking “What if?” but he did contend that he could’ve put up that Louisiana Tech yardage total — 4,000-plus — at Florida in 2015.
“I believe that I could’ve,” he said. “I don’t think it was a matter of competition. I think it was a matter of me playing well and throwing it to the right guy with certain looks.”
There’s no “bad blood” with Florida. Driskel said he still “loves” the university and understands that his career’s unfortunate turn was no one person’s fault.
It helps that he’s played himself back onto the NFL’s radar.
“It was just a matter of moving forward and getting in a new situation,” he said. “It turned out to be a really good decision on my part.”