When starting quarterback Feleipe Franks went down with a gruesome injury on Sep. 14, 2019, backup quarterback Emory Jones sat on the sideline prepared to help steady the rest of the Florida Gators‘ season.
However, Head Coach Dan Mullen opted to play junior Kyle Trask instead of Jones, a redshirt freshman. Trask, a former two-star quarterback, had not started a game since his freshman year of high school, whereas Jones is a former four-star quarterback who redshirted last season.
The rest is history as the Gators are ranked eleventh after losses to No. 1 LSU and No. 4 Georgia. As for Jones, he sees limited playing time while watching Trask get the start. He has has averaged 6.8 touches since Franks’ injury.
While Jones would prefer the starting job, he has no harsh feelings towards Trask. In fact, Jones feels he has improved by just watching Trask play.
That’s the name of the game for Jones: Improvement. No matter the situation, Jones prioritizes becoming better, both as a player and as a person.
Obviously, the biggest way for Jones to improve is by actually playing. When he is on the field, Jones doesn’t want to do anything too crazy.
Being in a limited role has not deterred Jones from his dreams of being a starting quarterback, and Mullen has helped Jones remain patient and focus on his goal.
When Mullen chose Trask over Jones in the Kentucky game, Jones had a feeling that Trask would remain on the field for the rest of the game. After all, Trask was on fire and ended up with 126 passing yards and nine-for-thirteen completions in the 29-21 victory.
Despite Mullen’s decision, Jones is still grateful for Mullen’s help in keeping himself motivated.
With the season winding down and Trask still holding onto the starting job, Jones’ focus is set on making the best of his remaining opportunities.
Catch Jones, Trask and the No. 11 Gators face the 5-4 Missouri Tigers in Columbia on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 12:00 EST on CBS.