There will be no player that the Florida Gators will add in the 2016 recruiting cycle more important to the immediate future of the program than four-star quarterback Feleipe Franks (Crawfordville, FL), who made a verbal pledge to join the team Sunday evening.
“It’s great to be a Florida Gator! #Committed,” Franks wrote on his Twitter account.
On the heels of one of the worst offensive performances in school history, the Gators needed a major win and got just that Sunday when Franks, the No. 45 overall player in the 247Sports Composite, chose to commit to Florida just six days after backing off his pledge from LSU.
Franks (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) is one of the most highly-coveted players in his class. The strong-armed, mobile signal caller is considered a top-five pro-style quarterback prospect and had dozens of offers to choose from. UF nabbed Franks over programs like Alabama and Florida State, in addition to LSU.
With nearly 7,000 yards and 82 touchdown passes compared to 17 interceptions for his high school career, Franks has been a tremendous performer for Wakulla High School. He’s completed 57 percent of his passes for 2,347 yards, 30 touchdowns and two picks as a senior, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
There should be no doubt that the Gators’ offensive performance Saturday, or lack thereof, contributed to Franks’s signing, though Florida had been after him for quite some time, increasing the intensity of its recruitment following the suspension of redshirt freshman Will Grier.
With Grier set to miss the first seven games of the 2016 season, and sophomore Treon Harris proving that he is simply not up to being the Gators’ starter, Franks will have a legitimate opportunity to start from day one.
Franks, who plans to enroll early in January, could be on campus in just over a month; he would then join the team for spring practice in March.
Now the highest-rated player in Florida’s Class of 2016, Franks is the team’s 26th commitment. He’s the third to join the Gators on Sunday, following pledges by three-star junior college wide receiver Dre Massey (Goodman, MS) and three-star offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor (Cocoa, FL).
Joining Grier, Harris and Franks on the Gators’ 2016 quarterback roster will be redshirt junior walk-on Luke Del Rio, a former scholarship player at Oregon State, and 2016 three-star Kyle Trask (Manvel, TX). UF also has four-star Jake Allen (Fort Lauderdale, FL) committed for 2017.
Oh, by the way, Franks also kicks.
— Shea Dixon (@Sheadixon) August 29, 2015