Image Credit: Florida Athletics
Now that the 2019 season is over for the Florida Gators, it’s time to look towards 2020. With the new year, there will be a debate regarding the who the starting quarterback will be for UF.
Feleipe Franks began the 2019 season as Florida’s starting signal-caller. However, a dislocated ankle ended his season, and ultimately, his time in Gainesville. The Crawfordville, Florida native announced that he will be transferring.
Kyle Trask took over for Franks and had an outstanding season. He threw for 2,941 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions as he helped Florida to an 8-2 record in his 11 games, including an Orange Bowl win over the Virginia Cavaliers.
Considering how the Gators played with him running the show, Trask will be the favorite heading into spring camp. But that doesn’t mean he won’t have any competition for the job.
Emory Jones was head coach Dan Mullen’s first commit at Florida, flipping the dual-threat quarterback from Ohio State. The thought was to groom Jones to be ready to take over once Franks left Gainesville. But with Trask’s play last season, Jones will have to compete for that role.
If Trask got the starting job in 2020, would Jones elect to stick around, or would he head for the transfer portal? In today’s college football climate, we’ve seen players transfer when they don’t get the opportunity to start.
Jones was used in a 2006 Tim Tebow role for the Gators, relieving Trask on certain downs. He completed 65.8% of his 38 passing attempts for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns, while rushing 42 times for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The Dark Horse
But Florida might have another player who could play into the quarterback race – Anthony Richardson. Playing at nearby Eastside High School, Richardson is also a dual-threat, like Jones. At 6-4, 233 pounds, Richardson has a big frame, which helps with the grind of the SEC.
Richardson probably won’t start in 2020, but if Jones should leave, he could see playing time sooner than expected as the primary backup. He certainly has all the tools to become an elite quarterback for the Gators.
The Gators will enter the spring with a lot of questions, but they have an excellent problem at the quarterback position. They have three players in Trask, Jones, and possibly Richardson – any of which could start for a lot of other teams around the country.