Florida’s quarterback situation has been in some state of turmoil for a while. It was thrown into deeper trouble as Treon Harris struggled to end last season following Will Grier’s suspension.
Now Grier is gone. Harris is transferring. The Gators need a quarterback.
That battle has been the dominant force of spring practice and moving on into the fall. It is still relatively unclear who will emerge as the starting quarterback for the Gators. It may be a competition that bleeds into the early part of the season when Florida opens against UMass on Sept. 3.
According to the newest member of the Gator team though, there may be a favorite.
Steve Spurrier spoke to the media after he was named an official ambassador for the athletics department and dropped a hint on the biggest positional battle for the Gators:
“I know that Coach Mac is fired up about the ones he has here now,” Spurrier said. “Let’s give these guys a chance to play, and hopefully one of them will emerge as a top-flight player that everybody can get behind. [Luke] Del Rio seems to be the starter. He is the starter now. We’ll see how it all works out.”
Spurrier promised he would not interfere with Jim McElwain or his program. But Spurrier has never been one to keep his cards close to the vest.
Luke Del Rio is expected to compete with transfer Austin Appleby and freshman Feleipe Franks for the starting position. Del Rio sat out last year after transferring from Oregon State. This after he walked on at Alabama.
Appleby is the only quarterback of that trio with any experience. But his time at Purdue was not exactly stellar. Franks is a true freshman, a promising one, but still inexperienced.
Del Rio started as a walk-on transfer who only recently picked up a scholarship.
It appears now he has emerged as not just the favorite for the Gators this fall.