Image Credit: UAA
The national nightmare is over. Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain announced Thursday that redshirt sophomore Luke Del Rio will start at quarterback in Florida’s season opener on Sept. 3 against UMass.
“Luke is going to work as the starter the rest of camp and start in the season opener barring any unforeseen development,” McElwain said in a statement released by the program. “Our other quarterbacks remain in the plans and are ready to move forward and help the Gators any way they can.”
Redshirt senior Austin Appleby (a graduate transfer from Purdue) and freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask were the others vying for the starting job. The expectation is that Appleby serves as Del Rio’s backup while Franks and Trask take redshirts.
Del Rio, who completed 10-of-11 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns in UF’s spring game, becomes the latest in a line of signal callers attempting to catch on with the Gators, which have started six quarterbacks since 2011 and seen every one transfer from the program for one reason or another.
Del Rio’s road to Gainesville, Florida, is a long one. He originally committed to Oklahoma State but instead walked on at Alabama in 2013. He then left for Oregon State after just one year but barely played for the Beavers in 2014. When Mike Riley was hired, Del Rio decided to leave Oregon State and transfer to Florida. He sat out the 2015 season as a walk-on but was recently given a scholarship to UF.
OnlyGators.com will update this story shortly.