Franks’ film preparation already paying dividends

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Florida quarterback Feleipe hands off to a running back at practice Friday. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

Feleipe Franks will be the first to tell you his film preparation wasn’t adequate in 2017.

With Franks under center, the Gators struggled to a 4-7 record last season, and UF once again finds itself holding a quarterback competition in preseason camp despite the presence of Franks, who signed with Florida while ranked the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the 2016 class by the 247Sports composite.

He holds all of the physical attributes that make coaches salivate — incredible arm strength on a 6-foot-5 frame while also possessing sufficient speed for the position — but it’s the mental aspect of the game that has many questioning Franks’ future.

Following spring camp, Franks realized the bulk of his offseason preparation should entail countless hours of film study.

“I’m a big believer in the mental aspect of the game, because that’s something I’ve needed to improve on since I came out of high school is just the mental aspect of the game,” Franks said. “Because you have this athleticism, but when you get to a level like this, playing in the SEC, it’s more about the mental game.”

Coach Dan Mullen concurred that both Franks and Kyle Trask likely underestimated how much work goes into being a starting quarterback in the SEC, emphasizing it’s a process that may not pay off until at least next season.

“I think one of the ones that is hard is how much work you have to put in at the QB position to be successful. I think they are young guys and they’re still learning that,” Mullen said. “They should understand it by hopefully next summer. I was hoping maybe with just one of them it would really click, but I didn’t see that happen.

“But that doesn’t shock me. It might not even be next summer, it might be the summer after that. A lot of guys it takes two or three years of really working.”

While Franks’ progression won’t be determined until he takes the field for his second season of collegiate action, the Crawfordville native said he’s already noticed his craft improving.

“I do feel like I’ve made strides. And I think a big part has to do with just being more mature. Like when I first got here, I’ll be the first one to admit it, everything was more like, first I didn’t know how to adjust form high school to college,” he said. “I think a lot of that has to do with maturity, when you get older you know when to stop playing around. When time comes to watch film, there’s a time to watch film and there’s a time to be serious and joke around with your friends.”

Although the Gators have held just six practices in this month, Franks’ teammates have already noticed improvement from the redshirt sophomore.

“I can tell you he’s been more hard on everybody, I guess you could say he’s more demanding. More demanding of his receivers, like be the first one in the film room, be the last one out, be on time,” wide receiver Trevon Grimes said. “In the weight room, he’s in your face, he’ll telling you, ‘Put more weight on, you’ve got to go, we’ve got to win.’ Things like that. He’s going to contribute a lot.”

Grimes, who transferred to Florida from Ohio State and was recently granted immediate eligibility for the 2018 season, didn’t mince words when it came to just how dedicated Franks is to improving his game off of the field.

“He watches film like crazy, more than anybody I’ve ever seen. He it watches 24/7. He’ll be the first one in the film room, the last one out,” Grimes said of Franks. “The other night I was sleeping and he FaceTimed me. I’m like, ‘What is he Facetiming me for?’ It was this route for me to run. He flipped the camera. He was like, ‘I think you should go a little bit deeper.’ This is at about 9:30 at night. I’m like, ‘All right, I’ve got you.’ The next day we ran the same route and it was perfect. Just little things like that mean a lot and can be a game changer.”

40 COMMENTS

  1. Nussmeier practically ruined this kid when he was developing him, if you could even call it developing. He did the same to Appleby and Harris as well. What he did to Harris should have warranted a jail sentence.

    Grier was the exception, but Grier was groomed and developed all the way through high school and by specialists and his father. Grier even said later in an interview at West Virginia that he played at UF with his hands tied most of the time, unable to audible, check out of a formation or play, and had to throw where Nuss wanted him to, even if the defense formation was set up to stop the play. Grier, on many occasions, checked out of Nuss’s plays of his own volition and BAM! A big play for the Gator offense.

    To those wondering, that’s one of the factors why Grier never made it back too, because Nuss didn’t like that Grier thought for himself.

    Now these QB’s are getting the proper coaching and development they need from Mullen and Brian Johnson.

    • Good post. These kids got nothing but incompetent coaching from a clueless boob, so now they are starting from not even zero but behind zero. I am happy for Franks that he is studying film, working hard(er) and getting serious about football and life. Whatever happens on the football field, these attitudes and habits will benefit him in life.

      The stuff on Grier doesn’t surprise me. Del Rio was also a coach’s son and had been coached elsewhere and knew that Suckmeiser was an idiot, so he was able to improvise within the moronic system that fool had implemented. Of course, Suckmiser and Yellow Teeth and only turned back to him as starter to try and save their jobs, but any success he had, like Grier, was in spite of those clowns and not because of them.

    • Good post Todd. If that’s all true, I guess I’m not surprised. I really wonder how McElteeth and Nuss ever made it this far and how they were ever handed the keys to the program. What a black mark on Gator Football history.

  2. Graham good read. Todd what you said is what I felt for some time. But that goes to the whole thing mentioned in several posts about players being in better condition and better trained as freshmen (before Mac’s team started coaching if that is what it was). I missed that interview with Grier. I thought there was something under the radar for his leaving. I think what the staff did to the players in lack of _____ (fill in the blank too much to type) was total incompetence. Not any more. No we have real coaches.

  3. That’s great for Felipe , but I would like to see an article on how he is tearing it up in practice and hitting his targets in stride. This is his third year at UF. This is all about potential. Hopefully, we’ll see that soon in his performance.

  4. I agree with most of above commenters (except the joke about getting “arrested”, as nobody wants “bracelets in front of their backs”). And I wish ’em all the best, and I hope they all remember, you’re only 1 play away (injury to starter) from playing.
    So please study like, you ‘3’, are the only starter.
    Go Gators!

  5. I always wonder how those young people can be in the military and be responsible for life and death, and yet QBs take years to mature. Perhaps they are too entitled in HS and not smart enough to know that things will be different later. If they find college mentally difficult they have no chance in the NFL. I hope coach is just motivating them since they should be progressing fairly rapidly.

      • Read story how Tua dad trained his kids. They were taught to have the desire and drive to Excel. Good find by Saban. Hurts interview sounds like he’s resigned to 2. Expect him somewhere else next year. Ours are things need more work.

    • Vulcan — if you’re scratching your head over the maturity level between the military and this, I’ll be honest with you: We don’t like some of the people that make it through basic combat training and advanced individual training either. Most of us would rather they made the cut right there, but that’s not reality either. But we have an equalizer — all 4 branches and the coast guard too — that no college football team has: The professional NCO. That’s the difference; otherwise they all come from the same pool.

      • 6 NCOs are the constant. But Vulcan answered his own question. Football is a game. Injury prone but a game. Some military jobs are live or die. Football now a play lose yard, points, game. Operational soldiers make a mistake someone gets hurt or dies. For those that rain and understand the gravity they get better faster. There difference is game vs job. The odd thing is the game can have a real payday if they make pro. The pro soldier will never make millions.

        • Gator6 and 65, I don’t know what you commanded or how many times you went to the sandbox but I’ve got it, you served. For someone who had to make the dreaded call and more importantly served as a casuality officer, my service isn’t something I use to stroke my ego or make meaningless analogies.

          • I’ve only been directly around the 21st once, 24th ID at Stewart 76-78, but I remember 2/21 as a very proud unit with a great lineage despite VOLAR and the times. If you commanded any unit in that outfit, or served in it at any time, you certainly have a lot to be proud of.

            I presume you’ll maybe temper your take on motivations for two old soldiers who spent far too much time in uniform not to have it influence their perceptions of events, or their thinking about them.

          • Gim meaningless analogies? Your job was one of the hardest of all. Vulcan compared the military to football. The leadership and approach has a different meaning for games vs Military. It hurts me when these kids use guns and carry guns against each other for “protection.” when the young men and women in uniform are armed for a reason. Great Granddad, Great Uncle, Dad, uncle, me, sister, cousin all veterans. No ego fact.

      • Sometimes, but sometimes too your brain freezes. That’s usually where training kicks in — if it was hard, tough, and simple, you’ll usually be OK. Just like in football, but without instant replay.

  6. I don’t know if I can go through another QB year like the last several, unfortunately all I can do is hold my breath and wait for the first game.

  7. As I stated yesterday, he was throwing the ball at the feet of the running backs during a drill? And, as Coach stated that he had hoped that the light clicked during the summer for the Qb’s to work harder than they ever have and yet as the coach said…it appears that did not happen. Watching film on yourself after practice does not lie about what you need to better so, it will pay great dividends for the future.

  8. Players so under coached/developed by previous administrations, it’s like Mullen and company have a whole team of Freshmen to get ready! GO GATORS!!!

  9. All the quarterbacks can do is prepare and hope the light comes on. I was running stadiums in the middle of the day in Summer and remember seeing Franks throwing with Krull and 5 or 6 Gators at Ben Hill during the hottest part of the day. That’s all you can really ask him to do. Hopefully, the on field results match the effort he is putting in.

  10. I’m hoping Mullen can turn Franks around. The Gators definitely need great QB play to have a chance in the SEC east, especially against the bullpups in Athens.

  11. As much as I like the kid…I still don’t think he gets it…He is still having trouble on 3rd down conversions…he would rather throw a 50 yard bomb than make an 8yd pass for a third down conversion…He was awful last year at 3rd down conversions…he’s got to much of a sand lot football mentality to make a consistent college QB…which leads to, too many mistakes like incomplete passes, fumbles and interceptions, his main problem last year…I do believe Trask will end up being the gators QB… Trask will be a functional QB like Fromm was last year…he has the quickest release of the football of the 3 QB’sand won’t be trying to throw a touchdown every play…and will manage the game accordingly since Mullen will be calling the plays … Like Fromm he will allow his RB’s to control the game and pass as needed and being able to complete those passes when needed…Trask is by far the most accurate passer of the three.

    • How do you know all this about Trask? Because you’ve seen him do it in practice against his own defense who can’t touch him and isn’t really going full speed? The guy hasn’t started a football game since middle school. I don’t understand how people are so adamant about his skills. I remember a lot of people saying the same thing about Franks’ skills when everyone wanted Mac to burn his redshirt his first year. It’s easy to assume something until you actually see them in action. You can’t automatically assume Franks is going to be the same player he was under the previous coaching staff either. He’s got a full year of experience starting in the SEC and knows exactly what he needs to correct. I mean look at Drew Lock’s stats his first season starting. 1332 yds, 4 Td’s, and 8 int’s with a 90.5 rating in 12 games. Playing in one less game Franks’ stats were 1438 yds, 9 Td’s, 8 int’s wth a 113.3 rating. Lock went on to throw for 3399 yds, 23 Td’s, 10 int’s and a 133.3 rating his next season under a new coaching staff, and then put up ridiculous numbers last season and is now projected to be a first rounder. I’m not saying this is what will happen with Franks, but this proves a terrible first season can certainly be overcome with a new coaching staff that knows what the hell they’re doing. You have to go with the guy with experience and not the guy who hasn’t started in years, who will certainly have all the first year starting QB boneheaded mistakes. You can’t compare Trask to Fromm either who was a 5* polished QB coming out of high school and playing with a team that was completely loaded, which any QB probably would’ve looked great playing with.

  12. from what I can gather, this looks like where we are imo:
    1. franks is the guy. trask probably moves on and could well be a good qb somewhere, but franks evidently is a better runner and does have the experience, and did show some things until last year unraveled. but mullen has to really work with trask for several good reasons. I like trask and hate to be writing these words, just think that is reality.
    2. my guess is cdm doesn’t want franks to try to do too much, as the game is won by outscoring your opponent, preferably by 9 points, anything else is to keep the other guy from scoring. so we might get some runs in the 4th quarter when a pass might score unneeded points.
    3. qb running helps the other runners which is a strength, and receivers better block or run themselves if they want to take most of the snaps.
    I believe we will be a very good team, 9 wins or so. after that it should be ten most years, with a little up or down based on injuries, special talents coming to life, etc. weve been a better program than it feels since champ left, but fragility has knocked us down a little. I think cdm is better for the pressure cooker that is florida football. as far as national championships, that’s not in the conversation for a while, but Alabama will come back down to earth soon enough, and none of the other programs are going to be year in year out champions, cdm will get one or two in the next fifteen years, and that is really good. but it will take him 5 years to get the first one, its a hard thing to do, and hes not going to take high risk players which may mean a longer wait.

  13. It’s encouraging to read that Franks is working hard and studying film and showing leadership. Who doesn’t admire a hard worker with strong character? I hope he succeeds. But he has to get the mental part clicking when it’s the real deal on the field. If he can do that, we’ll all be cheering him on.

  14. I’ll trust Coach Mullen when he says the job is wide open(and it not Franks to lose). I hope we see all three in those first 2 games. With the rule change, Jones can play in 4 games and still redshirt if that’s his best route.

    Franks seems to have all this experience, but it does not appear to be paying off. Trask has very little experience but seems to have more raw ability. At this point I think Trask is probably the better option. but let’s see him in game action.

  15. Mr.Franks can study all the film he wants and he can butter-up and room with the new wide outs, but until he can prove that he can run a D-1 offense he ain’t shoot.

  16. I FOR ONE DON’T THINK TRUMP IS A CONGENITAL LIAR…AND I’LL MATCH IQ’S WITH YOU ANY DAY OF THE WEEK…BUT, I DO AGREE FRANKS DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE HOW TO RUN THE OFFENSE…HE CERTAINLY LOOKS THE PART THOUGH…UNFORTUNATELY IT TAKES HIM TO LONG TO THROW THE BALL AND HE DOESN’T SEE THE ENTIRE FIELD…

  17. I hope Franks works out for the Gators. I have heard from my Gainesville sources that Grier–who is now considered a Heisman candidate–left Florida because McElwain would not guarantee him the starting job he had when he returned in mid-season for 2016 after his 1-year suspension. So he left and has put up monstrous numbers for WVU. Don’t know how accurate my Gainesville sources are, but they report that Franks has a long way to go before he is even up to where Grier was before the suspension. Hope they are wrong.
    Oh well. Water over the dam, as is the McElwain era. It’s so depressing that Gators can’t get a decent SEC QB to go along with all their other talent.
    The list of failures at QB since Tebow grows longer every year. Please Felipe. Be the one who can make the plays.

    • Pretty safe to say it is true. Grier was groomed his whole life to play Qb. Not only did he have his dad, who is a high school head coach and was a college QB himself coaching him, but he also had private QB coaches by his side all throughout his prep career, which eventually led to him becoming national player of the year. He was far more polished than Franks and light years ahead of him as far as footwork and knowledge of playing the position is concerned. Franks was about as raw as they come coming out of high school. He didn’t have the private coaches grooming him. With Franks’ natural talent, there’s no doubt he’d be one of the best Qbs in college football, if he had all the resources Grier had growing up.

      • Joe your on with the skills and coaching differences and similarities from your previous post. My concern as some others have posted is that un-coachable element of pocket presence and a football mind being not with the play but ahead of the play. If he has that and it was only lack of coaching then he will light it up. I hope to see one of these guys burst onto the scene and lead and excel at QB. Franks didn’t show he that intangible quality last year. It could have been bad coaching and a lack of options or he was not allowed to do the things we as fans would expect. Our coaching was so poor and according to players who have commented it very well could all be coaching.

  18. The most accurate passer will win the job….The most accurate passer by far and away is Trask !!! When he runs, his running style is more like Tebow…he is more of a power runner than a breakaway…it’s fun to watch him throw because he is throwing the ball before the receivers make their break …something Franks has trouble doing, he just holds on to the ball too long…

  19. I remember a guy that loved being in the film room but just couldn’t quite get it together, Chris Leak. It wasn’t until Meyer and Co. came in and sprinkled in some TebowTime that he finally emerged. So the hope is that Franks gets it together( or Trask) and maybe sprinkle in Emory Jones or Toney and it should be sufficient for now. I am waiting for one of them to step up as the #1 for the next couple of years, but who knows that QB may not be on campus yet. Sept 1st couldn’t come any sooner, Go Gators!!

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