(Photo: Christopher Stock, 247Sports) GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With National Signing Day right around the corner and the 2016 season now well in the rearview mirror, GatorBait.net stops to analyze each position to see what needs to be added in this recruiting class. Today, we start with the quarterbacks.
Numbers Needed: 0
Florida is relatively set at quarterback in terms of numbers, with five currently slated to be on the 2017 roster. However, with Del Rio seemingly not the right long-term option based on 2016 and Toney likely to end up at a different position, perhaps it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world if the Gators added another. A transfer with major talent or a top recruit somehow falling into their laps late wouldn’t hurt. But both seem pretty unlikely at this point. Probably best to settle with what’s there for 2017 and make moves on a major prosect in 2018.
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What We Like: Potential, potential, potential. When your quarterbacks haven’t played yet, it’s easy to get excited about the possibilities. Both Franks and Trask have major size and big-time arms, which means as long as they can develop the mental part of the game, they could be the future at the position.
We also like the athleticism of both of those two. Both are significantly more mobile than Del Rio is, and probably Austin Appleby too. Throw in a third prototypical quarterback in Allen and Florida has enough players at the position that one of them simply has to work out. Right?
What We Don’t Like: On the flip side of the potential argument is that neither Franks nor Trask was in position to play in 2016 when the quarterback play was an abject disaster at times. Now, why that is is highly speculative. Were they locked into a redshirt from the start? Just not ready? We don’t really know.
So once again Florida will go into a season with a question mark at quarterback. When’s the last time that wasn’t the case? In terms of individual players, we have some concerns about Franks’ somewhat erratic accuracy based on what we’ve seen, as well as Trask’s command of the playbook. Del Rio is simply a limited player from a talent standpoint.
What Must Happen: For this recruiting class, the position is pretty well set. What has to happen is either Franks or Trask — and preferably both for Florida — to take significant strides to lock down the starting job as the Gators move through spring ball, the offseason and fall camp.
Going forward, the future of the offense needs some clear direction to aid with recruiting as a whole. Until Florida shows it is really turning things around, coach Jim McElwain’s task on the trail will be difficult. It’s up to Franks or Trask to solve that.