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McElwain names Feleipe Franks starting QB against Michigan

Ari Russell

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While playing a cat and mouse game with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh with regards to the depth chart for Saturday’s game against the Wolverines, Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain was seemingly keeping who will be the starting QB close to his vest until game time. On Wednesday, however McElwain changed his tune, naming redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks starting QB.

Franks won the job after a vigorous competition between Luke Del Rio and Notre Dame grad transfer Malik Zaire. Del Rio missed the spring due to injury and Franks who asserted himself during the Spring, clearly impressed the Gators’ caching staff.  Zaire, who transferred to Florida with hopes of winning the job, wasn’t expecting such a competitive run at the job.

McElwain explains why he’s going with Franks for Michigan via 247Sports:

“The big thing is the whole body of work from spring on,” McElwain said. “He deserves it.”

Left Tackle Martez Ivey explains his take:

“He’s more confident. He’s hard working now, more than he’s ever been since the competition came in with Malik Zaire,” left tackle Martez Ivey said. “He’s just been working hard and he’s just a whole different Feleipe Franks than last year.”

“He’s poised. He keeps his calm. He doesn’t get rattled, not that I’ve seen.”

This was part of a busy afternoon in Gainesville, as more suspensions were announced in connection with credit card scandal and other discipline that already has had 10 players, including star WR Antonio Callaway, missing the Wolverines game. This round involves the run game:

Scarlett ran for over 800 yards in 2016, and was expected to be the main back, as Florida’s season begins. And, with him unavailable, even more pressure will be on Franks to deliver early in this match-up.

It is also anticipated that last year’s on/off starter Luke Del Rio and Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire may both play on Saturday.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.