Florida Spring Football Game: 5 Things That Matter
What do you need to know about what happened in the Florida spring football game?
1. And … Feliepe Franks?
With Luke Del Rio struggling through shoulder problems and not able to go, it’s been Feliepe Franks vs. Kyle Trask for the starting quarterback gig. Of course, head coach Jim McElwain won’t totally commit to anyone as the true No. 1 guy for now, be shocked if it’s not Franks.
He’s got the size, the arm, and the mobility to finally give Florida a real, live, talented quarterback under McElwain – with some due respect to Will Grier – who can make the offense finally work. While Franks wasn’t pushed much and didn’t need to come up with anything challenging, he still looked strong hitting 8-of-14 throws for 119 yards and a score.
Trask has the size and the arm to stay in the hunt for the job – and could take it if he’s lights-out this summer – connecting on 6-of-16 throws for 66 yards and a pick on Friday night playing mostly with the backups.
2. Did The Offensive Line Hit Anyone?
Sort of, but not really. The O line wasn’t turned loose to blast away for the power game, but it was solid early on, paving the way for likely starting RB Jordan Scarlett to crank up an early touchdown. There’s still plenty of work to be done this summer to put the entire puzzle together, but four starters are back for a young group that should be fine as long as injuries don’t hit right away. With depth a big concern, the spring game wasn’t all that taxing.
3. The Revamped Secondary Is Still Figuring It Out
It’s going to be fine, but give it a little bit. It’s not easy or automatic that the Gators will easily replace Quincy Wilson or Jalen Tabor, but a few options are being tested out. Duke Dawson could end up at nickel or corner, Chauncey Gardner can play just about anywhere in the secondary, and Joseph Putu and – eventually – Chris Williamson will be deep in the mix. For now, it’s Dawson and Gardner on the outside, and Marcell Harris and Nick Washington at safety.
4. There Might Finally Be A Ground Game – Part 2.
Last year at this time it seemed like the Gators would be more powerful, more in control, and tougher on the ground. Instead, they averaged just 128 yards per game and fizzled time and again. Jordan Scarlett led the team with 889 yards and two scores – averaging almost five yards per pop – and he took over and looked okay early on in the spring game. Mark Thompson has pop and power, but he lost a fumble leading to a score. He ran for 34 yards on six carries, while Scarlett ran nine times for 39 yards and a touchdown. The third man in the mix – Lamichal Perine – ran for 19 yards and a score for the winning Orange side, and six yards on four carries forte Blue backups.
5. The New Wild-Card
Just how creative will the coaching staff be with Kadarius Toney? The true freshman got to school early, and now he’ll be the one the fans want to see if the O starts to bog down. While he’s not going to push anyone out of a starting job, he’s a playmaker who’s great on the move, throwing a touchdown pass for the Orange side, completing 2-of-4 passes for the Blue, and leading all Gators with 74 rushing yards on just five carries, working a little for both sides. Oh yes … there will be special packages for him.