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Sep 30, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) calls a play against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gator Profile: Feleipe Franks’ Work Ethic May Propel Him to Starting Quarterback Spot

Florida Gators‘ quarterback Feleipe Franks is returning for his redshirt-sophomore season.

The Crawfordville-native is in the middle of a quarterback battle, but the incumbent starter has experience on his side.

2017 Campaign

Franks won the starting quarterback job before the 2017 season, beating out Luke Del Rio and Malik Zaire. The six-foot six , 240-pound quarterback made his mark on the program against Tennessee. He completed a 63-yard touchdown pass as time expired to Tyrie Cleveland to beat the Vols.

He went on the throw for nine touchdowns and 1,438 yards end-route to a 3-5 record as a starter. Accuracy was Franks’ biggest issue as he threw eight interceptions and completed only 55-percent of his passes.

Zaire replaced Franks as the starter against Missouri, and the two split time as the signal-caller the rest of the season.

A Fresh Start

The 2018 season brought change to the Florida Gators football program with the departure of Jim McElwain and the hiring of Dan Mullen.

A new offense means a new start for Franks who faced heavy criticism heading into this season. His arm strength was never in question, but his footwork and decision making on the field lead to doubt if he would continue as the Gators starter.

However, Franks has worked during the offseason to fix the issues he had in 2017.

The work ethic he has demonstrated has stood out to his teammates. His tenacity to improve himself off the field by constantly watching film and studying the playbook has allowed Franks to emerge as a leader on the team.

Wide receiver Trevon Grimes said Franks would FaceTime him during the night to discuss route concepts and adjustments the two can make on the field. Grimes said that Franks is always watching film and that dedication is rubbing off on the rest of the offense.

Franks is battling with Kyle Trask, another red-shirt sophomore, and freshman Emory Jones for the starting position. According to the coaching staff, the battle for the starting spot won’t end until late in fall camp

 

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