Florida’s Franks needs time to develop, McElwain says

Florida’s Feleipe Franks has had mixed results. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun] Feleipe Franks’ development is an ongoing process that fans might consider slow and frustrating, but Florida coach Jim McElwain is showing patience with his redshirt freshman quarterback.

He’s doing some good things, he’s had some setbacks, and there’s still plenty to work on, McElwain said.

“The challenge is making sure, from a situational standpoint, we just need to continually work on that piece,” McElwain said. “Look, he’s working his tail off. We’ve got to give him some time to be able to deliver as well. Those are all pieces that need to come together. And we also need to go get open against man-to-man coverage.”

McElwain said Franks is doing some encouraging things, but also needs to keep improving in other areas, including going through his progressions if the primary receiver is covered.

“I think one of the things that he does is he gets a little too deep in the pocket at times from a stride standpoint,” he said. “Whether it’s the launch point, we need to continue working on. His ball security is better. I think at times he goes through with really good command and the flow piece is really good. We’ve got to continue to work on that.

“And, when the first one isn’t there, let’s get to two and three. We need to continue to work on that. But he by no means was the reason we didn’t get a W this week.”

Junior offensive guard Tyler Jordan said the offensive line needs to help Franks out by giving him better protection. He was sacked five times in the 17-16 loss to LSU.

“He’s a hell of a quarterback, talented quarterback,” Jordan said. “I think he’s just young. He’s very raw. That’s not an excuse. We have to go out and protect better as an offensive line, especially on those big plays. We need to protect better on those deep throws.”

Franks continues to be pushed in practice by Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire, who has not played since replacing Franks in the second half of the opener against Michigan.