Feleipe Franks to start at QB for Florida vs. Michigan

By Adam Silverstein
August 30, 2017
Feleipe Franks to start at QB for Florida vs. Michigan

Image Credit: Courtney Culbreath/UAA

Just three days before opening the 2017 season, Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain has named redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks the program’s starting quarterback against the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Franks edged redshirt junior Luke Del Rio and graduate transfer Malik Zaire for the job. McElwain said last week that all three would play in the game and did not provide any additional clarity on Monday, saying it would all be revealed during the game.

“The whole body of work from spring on. … He deserves it. He’s done a really good job. Not to say the other guys didn’t,” McElwain said of his decision.

Asked if stepping in to take the first snap in such a big game against an opponent like Michigan concerned him in regards to Franks’ youth and inexperience, McElwain brushed that off.

“Well, in that big stage, the guy’s got a big arm, too,” he said. “You know what? He’s played in state championship games. He’ll be ready to go.”

Though Del Rio and Zaire did not “jump up and down” or sit there and cry with Franks being chosen as the starter, McElwain said both players “handled it like the should — like competitors and like teammates.”

“[Franks] was excited. Obviously the other guys were disappointed, and yet, the other guys were there to be supportive,” he continued. “They’ve been in these situations. It’s not like they won’t be ready to play.”

McElwain also left the door open to all three playing in the game, claiming “we have a plan” when asked directly if Franks was the full-game starter or perhaps just a player getting the majority of the reps in the contest.

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