Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Gator Football is Back with The Orange & Blue Spring Game

Gator fans are just hours away from their first look at what’s to come in the 2016 college football season. Friday at 7 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gator Football will scrimmage in their annual Orange and Blue spring game.

The team’s most anticipated spring position competition will be the quarterback battle between all four of Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask, Austin Appleby and Luke Del Rio. You can expect to see all four taking reps during Friday’s spring game, however do not expect a starter to be named anytime soon. Coach MacElwain has kept an even-keeled approach while discussing his options at quarterback. Friday night is a clear opportunity for any of the four to start to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Of the four, Austin Appleby has the most experience from his days starting at Purdue. Feleipe Franks comes with the highest pedigree as a top recruit who de committed from LSU to come to Florida. Both Del Rio and Trask come with strong arms and the ability to impress come game time.

On the defensive side of the ball, the line will be without two starters from last year. On that defensive line, the Gators will be looking for contributions from last year’s redshirt players. Jabari Zuniga and Luke Ancrum are both expected to compete for starting jobs and play a big part in the success of this year’s defensive line. With star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves gone and on his way to a first round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft, returning cornerback Jalen Tabor is expected to play an even more important role in leading this team defensively. Marcus Maye is also expected to step up in the absence of Hargreaves, and he’s looking to bring some power to the secondary.

Player to watch:

Keep an eye out on junior college transfer Mark Thompson who will leave a BIG impression. At 6’2”, 240 pounds, Thompson is a different kind of back compared to the others in the backfield for the Gators. His physical running style will prove especially useful on third down.

With all of the talent that will be on display Friday night, it’s not hard to start getting excited for fall 2016 and Gator Football.

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