As Jim McElwain and Florida head into the offseason, there’s just one thing on fans’ minds: Will redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks be named the team’s starting quarterback?
In the Gators’ spring game, Franks showed signs of progress and looked like the much-hyped recruit he was coming out of high school. Luke Del Rio continues to work his way back from a shoulder injury, but the future does look bright behind center for the Gators.
That’s good news for McElwain, who has become a polarizing figure among Florida fans despite winning back-to-back SEC East titles and 19 games in his first two seasons in Gainesville. But the former Alabama offensive coordinator has seen his offenses struggle, with the Gators starting four different quarterbacks in that time.
McElwain also has to replace a wealth of talent on the defensive side of the ball, as Teez Tabor, Quincy Wilson, Marcus Maye and Jarrad Davis were all taken in the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. McElwain already replaced former defensive coordinator Geoff Collins with Randy Shannon, as Collins left to lead Temple’s football program. Doug Nussmeier returns as offensive coordinator.
As for the long-term future at Florida, it looks as if recruits are buying in, as the Gators have the No. 2 overall class for the 2019 recruiting cycle. Per the 247Sports composite rankings, the Gators have the No. 30 class for 2018.
Despite the unrest from some Florida fans, McElwain has fared well in previous editions of SEC Country’s approval poll. McElwain had an 85.2 percent approval rating in the poll conducted in April. That put him in fifth place, and second among SEC East coaches, behind only Mark Stoops of Kentucky. There was another offseason arrest in April, as wide receiver Antonio Callaway was cited for marijuana possession on May 13.
McElwain earned approximately $4.3 million in 2016. The Gators open the 2017 season against Jim Harbaugh and Michigan on Sept. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Vote on Jim McElwain’s approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents that select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.