In his fourth season as a Florida Gator, Emory Jones seems poised to finally get his shot. And now that the Gators have started to prepare for the 2021 season, the redshirt junior doesn’t want to take the starting job for granted.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) February 19, 2021
And why would he when head coach Dan Mullen and the Gators have the talented redshirt freshman, Anthony Richardson, waiting in the wings? Technically, the Gators haven’t named a QB1 yet, but it’s almost certainly Jones’ job for the taking. And it’s been a long time coming.
After Feleipe Franks went down with an injury, and Kyle Trask was named the starting quarterback, Jones has had to be patient. And so Emory took the road less traveled and decided to stay in Gainesville and wait his turn, instead of entering the transfer portal. He said being patient all those years hasn’t been easy.
Mullen used Emory as a complement to Heisman finalist Kyle Trask in several games. His dual-threat ability differs from the traditional quarterback play of Trask, and that was on display in the Cotton Bowl when Jones got some more playing time.
He said, while its been hard not to lead his team the way he’d like for the past three seasons, he’s learned a lot along the way.
Who’s Got the Job?
In the Gators’ humbling 55-20 loss to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, Jones was one of the brighter spots in Mullen’s offense. He completed 8-of-16 for 86 yards and added 60 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
So, all signs point to Emory Jones being QB1 in the Gators’ season debut against FAU on Sept. 4. The only thing that could prevent that from happening is the 6’4″ gunslinger out of Gainesville, Richardson. The redshirt freshman possesses some of the same dual-threat capability as Jones without the experience.
Jones said when he showed up at practice, he felt like he had something to prove.
It’s no secret that Mullen has been something of a quarterback whisper tracing back to his years with Mississippi State and Dak Prescott. And most recently, he took a quarterback in Trask that hadn’t started a game since high school, and even then backed up D’Eriq King, and turned him into a Heisman finalist.
— AllGators on Sports Illustrated (@SI_AllGators) February 19, 2021
Emory feels like his story isn’t any different, and development is a theme that Mullen preached to him since day one. And while he might have wished his time to shine could’ve come sooner, it seems like it’s finally here.