Emory Jones may be Florida’s future at QB, but plan to redshirt him unchanged

By Adam Silverstein
October 28, 2018
Emory Jones may be Florida’s future at QB, but plan to redshirt him unchanged

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Plenty of Florida Gators fans believe freshman Emory Jones is the answer the team has needed at the quarterback position for quite some time. And he may well be. But that answer is not coming in 2018.

After Jones saw some action — and was clearly effective with his snaps — in No. 9 Florida’s 36-17 loss to No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, some wondered whether head coach Dan Mullen decided that he would use the former four-star recruit more over the remainder of the season, eventually burning his redshirt.

The short answer: No.

The longer answer: “We’ll see as the season goes on,” Mullen said. “The plan moving forward will probably be to redshirt him still, so we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out. You never know.”

With both the College Football Playoff and a potential SEC Championship Game appearance now out of the Gators’ grasp, it would be mind-numbingly dumb for Florida to burn Jones’ redshirt. To put it another way, Mullen is just playing coy with his response, as Jones does have two more games in which he can see action without losing a year of eligibility.

Jones played in the Gators’ season opener and Saturday’s game. Against the Bulldogs, he saw three positive runs of 5 or more yards and nearly dropped a dime for a would-be touchdown if not for a pass interference penalty on Georgia. Jones also fumbled the ball on an option pitch, but that was mostly the fault of the offensive line and Florida did recover the ball.

“He’s a pretty dynamic player,” Mullen said of Jones. “We want to give the opportunity to get on the field and try to take advantage of some of that look. … I thought he threw a pretty good deep ball in that situation right there to put it on him.”

It would make sense for Jones to sit the Gators’ next three games against Missouri, South Carolina and Idaho. That would allow him to play a package, substitute or — if Florida is lucky, garbage time — role against Florida State and in the bowl game, after an additional 15 practices. Jones seeing some snaps in the bowl game is particularly important as it will give Mullen some game film on which to evaluate the quarterback on ahead of spring practice.

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