University of Florida running back Jordan Scarlett rushes for a 33-yard touchdown against Missouri / Gator Country photo by David Bowie The Florida Gators football team is just a few days away returning to the practice fields to prepare for the April 7 th Orange and Blue Debut and questions abound on offense. Is this the year the Gators finally figure it out on offense? Who will line-up behind the center and take the helm at the quarterback position? Can the Gators get their tight ends more involved? How will the Gators adapt to two new offensive coaches?
But while there are a lot of questions, there are also a lot of potential questions that are not even being broached, because the Gators return nearly every offensive starter and almost all of their offensive production from the 2016 season.
In this first part of a two part series, we take a look at what production is returning and how that positions Florida going into spring practice, and more importantly, the fall season.
The quarterback position is the one position completely up in the air, although the main starter from 2016, Luke Del Rio, is still on the roster. With Del Rio out for the spring, redshirt freshmen Kyle Trask and Fileipe Franks will likely battle for the starter role, with true freshman Kadarius Toney also getting into the rotation. The Gators did lose redshirt senior, Austin Appleby, who played in nine games and had eight more total passes. Name Completions Attempts Completion Percentage Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Austin Appleby 127 209 60.8% 1447 10 7 Luke Del Rio 114 201 56.7% 1358 8 8 Percentage of Lost Production 52.69% 50.97% 51.595 55.55% 46.67% Obviously, the aforementioned comment about Del Rio being out in the spring makes this chart a wash and probably a waste of my time to make. However, Del Rio will likely be back in the summer and will be a part of the mix for the starting role unless Franks and/or Trask really make a case for Del Rio to no longer be included in the mix and that it is expected.
However, no matter the scenario it is still cumbersome to enter spring camp with zero returning stats at the quarterback position for the second straight off-season.
Last season was the first season that the Gators had four running backs gain more than 4.0 yards per carry (at least 25 carries) since 2010. The Gators return their top three rushers while losing their fourth and fifth leading rusher (transfer, graduation). Name Attempts Yards Average Yards Per Carry Touchdowns Attempts per Game Yards Per Game Jordan Scarlett 179 889 4.97 6 13.77 68.38 Lamical Perine 91 421 4.63 1 7 32.38 Mark Thompson 68 299 4.40 2 5.67 24.92 Jordan Cronkrite 31 145 4.68 1 2.82 13.18 Mark Hendon 2 3 1.5 0 0.25 0.38 Percentage of Lost Production 8.89% 8.42% 10% 10.4% 9.73% The Gators will return 91.11% of their attempts and 91.58% of their yards […]