Driskel’s back but Gators’ QB job remains open

By Adam Silverstein
October 12, 2011

Florida Gators freshman quarterback Jeff Driskel’s ankle injury is a thing of the past, according to offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who said Tuesday that the player has returned to the field and basically split practice repetitions down the middle with his classmate and last week’s starter against LSU, Jacoby Brissett.

“I wouldn’t be giving him that many reps if [he was still injured],” Weis said.

However, Driskel returning to practice does not mean he automatically becomes the top choice to start on Saturday. That is still to be decided this week.

“My job is to make sure I have both of them ready to play. I’m not going to have one of them ready to play; they’re both going to be ready to play. They both took pretty close to even reps [Tuesday], so I’ll have both of them ready to play,” Weis said. “I got the whole week to see how the whole thing matriculates.”

No matter who winds up being tabbed as the starter on Saturday, Weis explained that the game plan he is formulating can be put into action with either player behind center. In fact, both of them seeing action against the Auburn Tigers is not out of the question.

“Yeah, there’d be a chance of both playing in the game. Right now it’s too soon to say, ‘Hey, let’s do this or let’s do that.’ Let’s just get through the week and see how the week goes first,” Weis cautioned.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]His re-opening of the quarterback job is not a statement about Brissett’s performance last week. Though Weis “chose the conservative route” and decided not to open up the offense due to his lack of experience and the hostile environment in which the game was played, he thought Brissett “handled himself very well” on Saturday.

“He showed very, very good poise. That’s what I expected from being around him a bunch. Until you go out there and actually watch it, you don’t know what’s going to happen for sure,” Weis said of Brissett. “There’s a lot of good practice players that when it comes time to playing a game, they disappear. But he certainly isn’t one of them.

“It’s one thing when you expect it, but you don’t know until there’s 93,000 people, you’re on the road, it’s loud. He wasn’t the reason that we lost the game. I can say that with fairly good confidence.”

Weis has a lot of confidence in both Driskel and Brissett, citing the fact that they have now both played in games as a “big difference maker” for each player going forward. Though he said even Brissett would admit that Driskel is the faster of the two, he has been impressed with what each player brings to the table.

“They’re both big, strong, physical guys, very sharp mentally with a very, very high ceiling,” he said. “Both these guys have grown to improve and be very, very good players.”[/EXPAND]

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