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Gators will start QB Feleipe Franks in opener Saturday

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Gators made it official on Monday, the guy who started at quarterback for most of the 2017 season will be the guy to start the season Saturday at the Swamp against Charleston Southern. That name is Feleipe Franks.

Florida released their depth chart Monday afternoon with Franks name at the top of it and coach Dan Mullen then explained the decision a short time later:

Mullen told the media, “We have some young quarterbacks that all have really bright futures. All of them are a long way from finished product….We looked at the best opportunity to win, now. Not projecting how they will be, how they will grow, but right now, heading out on the field, running our offense, who’s gonna give us the best chance to win.”

Specifically on Franks:

“The ability to extend plays, some of his athleticism, right now will give us the best opportunity to win games. They were pretty even (all the QBs), back and forth, with learning the offense….I met with all of them the other day. And, all of them have a lot more developing ahead of them”

Franks does have solid competition from redshirt sophomore Kyle Trask and incoming freshman dual threat Emory Jones. Trask had a distinguished high school career in Manvel, Texas, but after red-shirting in 2016, he was injured prior to last season and never saw the field.

As for Jones, he’s yet to step foot on the field at the Swamp, much less in SEC action.

And it’s entirely possible that the Gators may play Trask and even Jones some on Saturday night.

Franks has had some moderate success as the starter, including throwing the game winning bomb TD pass in the final seconds of the Tennessee victory last season.

He definitely has the size at 6’5 and the arm strength to get it done, but as we wondered last week, is the competitive drive to be the starter and become great this season within Franks?

We are about to start to find out.

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