McElwain introduces another element to Florida QB race

Florida freshmen quarterbacks Kyle Trask, left, and Feleipe Franks at August practice last year. [Rob C. Witzel/The Gainesville Sun] The much-anticipated quarterback duel between redshirt freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask begins Tuesday with the start of spring practice. But they won’t be alone. A third party also is going to be involved.

True freshman and early enrollee Kadarius Toney.

Toney was a playmaking dual-threat quarterback in high school who many are projecting will eventually end up at wide receiver at Florida. But that’s not where he’s starting out.

With Luke Del Rio out for the spring after undergoing shoulder surgery, the Gators are down to two scholarship quarterbacks (Franks and Trask). Well, now make that three with Toney.

“It gives us a chance to get Kadarius Toney a lot of reps at the position and find out exactly what he can do and see where that fits as we experiment with some of the things we’re going to do this spring offensively,” UF coach Jim McElwain said Thursday. “That should be fun.”

Even if Toney does eventually end up at another position, McElwain said the coaches may put together a package of plays for Toney to run out of the quarterback position, adding the running element. UF did the same last spring with slot receiver Dre Massey.

"Yeah, and it’s something we did a little bit with Austin, and yet this gives us a little bit more,” McElwain said. “We also had those packages in for Dre Massey that we worked on extensively and were able to use it for one kickoff, right? That was a big blow to us offensively last season."

The coaches never had a chance to conduct the Massey experiment at quarterback in an actual game because he tore his ACL in the opening seconds of last season’s opener and missed the season.

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