Teammates view Franks differently than vocal Gators fans

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks gets a piggyback ride from Chauncey Gardner-Johnson after scoring a touchdown Saturday during the Orange & Blue Game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

If anyone is asked if they have a favorite Dan Mullen quarterback, there are plenty of options. Because his track record of developing quarterbacks is long and illustrious.

Feleipe Franks, who might be Mullen’s next quarterback, has a favorite.

Dak Prescott, who has been starting for the Dallas Cowboys since his rookie season two years ago.

“I wouldn’t say reminds me of myself. I try to play my own game,” Franks said after Saturday’s spring game. “At the same time, one of the guys I really like watching on film, especially with Coach Mullen there and Coach (Brian) Johnson, is Dak Prescott.

“Just how calm he is just in the pocket watching his film from when he was at Mississippi State. Just so poised. At the same time, like I’ve heard from them, great personality.

“I have a great personality, I’m always upbeat, but just the way he plays on the field with such great poise and just gets the job done. His last two seasons straight, you know, a great player, a great teammate. I really like the way he plays.”

Franks might be hearing from his favorite Mullen quarterback in the near future.

In an attempt to give his young quarterbacks an idea what kind of work they have to put in this summer to be great, Mullen said he may have some of his former quarterbacks, including Prescott, call Franks and Kyle Trask.

“We’re limited in how we can be around them (in the summer),” Mullen said. “I can’t be out there while they’re throwing. We’ll talk to them about it: ‘This is what you need to do to be great.’

“I’ll have other people talk to them about it. Get former players talking to them about it. Get guys who are currently playing. Get a Dak Prescott to get on the phone with them and say, ‘Hey, this is what you’ve got to do in the summer if you want to be great.’

“Get some of the other quarterbacks, great quarterbacks here, ‘This is what you’ve got to do if you want to be great.’ And just keep hammering so they understand the sense of urgency and how hard they have to work to be successful.”

It’s still early, but heading into the summer, Franks appears to be the slight leader for the starting role in the fall.

If it turns out that Franks wins the job, many among the fan base might be disappointed. But it would be viewed completely different by his teammates, who seem to embrace him because of his leadership traits and his athletic ability.

Franks received a piggyback ride off the field from safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson after his 60-yard TD run Saturday.

“That’s my quarterback,” Gardner-Johnson said. “He came in with me. He came in early. A lot of people are always throwing negative thoughts and shade at him, but I told him, ‘We’ve got to keep playing because the guys in the pros did the same thing. Somebody else is competing for the same job you’re competing for. You’ve just got to go out and do what you’ve got to do.’

“He’s always been a leader. He’s part of the leadership committee, so obviously our guys see something in him that other people don’t. But they’re not putting on a helmet with us. They’re not playing with us.

“That’s my quarterback. I came in early with him, moved into Keyes with him. That’s my boy. Everybody else outside is negative talking about him, but he’s my quarterback.”

Linebacker David Reese said Franks’ 60-yard run Saturday is an indication of the kind of playmaker he can be.

“Feleipe is probably one of the most athletic players on our whole team,” Reese said. “A guy that big, that strong, that fast, and with an arm like that, he can make a lot of plays happen.”


  1. Now if he only could read defenses much better and deliver the ball properly he would be a great QB. We have not seen that in his game play, nor somewhat in his other activities. How about Tim talking to Trask in particular about leadership both in football and life, that seems to be the area that he is behind.

  2. He looked pretty good in the spring game, but he looked pretty good in last year’s spring game as well. To me, Kyle Trask seems to have that “it” factor you look for. That back shoulder throw was a thing of beauty.

    • Nick. Franks never makes that back shoulder throw. Not in his QB DNA so far. I never have seen him throw the ball with both accuracy and touch, especially down the field. Trask does that naturally. Unless Franks starts being able to do that, he will never be a very good college QB, no matter how much he is liked by his teammates or how athletic and big he is. Period.

  3. Feleipe Franks can be a superstar. I am an old time Gator and he reminds me of the young John Reaves when I was a junior at UF. Reaves once threw 7 int in a game at Auburn. Franks actually is a better athlete than Reaves, but his future is bright, with Mullen and good play calling.
    Trask on the other hand has not started a game since middle school if then. Trask couldn’t transfer to Houston because the guy who he was 2nd string to at Manvel, is there. Trask would be better off transferring to UMHB, the Div 3 winner a year ago. That is the highest level he can play at.

    • Disagree, gatorlover. Not Franks….I just hope time doesn’t expire before he shows us what he’s really capable of. But right now Trask is actually a mystery….we got a glimpse of him in the O&B game, but that’s it. I’d sure like to see more before we banish him to Div III, he showed somebody something to get here in the first place. That said, UMHB is a great destination, Belton is a great little town, but who knows what sanctions are in store for them from the NCAA.

    • Can be a superstar, yes but he hasn’t shown any progress. I did see him scan the field a lot more and check down receivers but he is processing information way to slow and making the wrong decision anyway. He is awful reading the defense pre-snap and ends up improvising the play when it breaks down because he doesn’t recognize the blitz or follow the Safety. The guy has a tremendous amount of talent but he’s the same QB he was 2 yrs ago.

      His biggest attribute is that he’s liked in the locker room and a little more Alpha than Trask. I think Mullen and staff are waiting for Trask to walk into the meeting room one day and demand the starting job while pounding his fist on the table. Him being more assertive and becoming more of a vocal leader is the thing that has kept undecided at this point.

      We will see both QBs week 1 but I’d bet anyone a cheeseburger and a coke that Trask will be the guy UK week.

      • Scotty, you are on. I will bet you that Mullen will play 2 QB’s in game 1, but Trask won’t be one of them. How would you know that he processes info too slow? Didn’t seem to decide too late when he ran over 70 yds and 60 yds for TD’s, which is something Trask can’t do.
        Trask simply makes the wrong reads, resulting in almost 2-3 int Saturday, plus he lost the ball in 2 hand touch, which is hard to do. His arm is like Del Rio’s which means he may know where to go with it, but not strong enough to get it there.
        At least, though Scotty, you didn’t say Franks is dumb. We don’t have dumb players. But, may Mullen play the best one to give us a chance to win, and that one will be Franks in my opinion I also believe there will be a package for Jones in game 1. We shall see.

        • Yeah this whole idea that Trask should be the guy because of how he looked in the Spring game is ridiculous. Some Gator fans apparently have short memories cause just a few years ago Del Rio went 10-11 for 176 yards and 2 TDs in the Spring game leading to a 44-6 rout of the orange team, and how’d that turn out? Trask is a guy that’s going to require a clean pocket to have success and this offensive line isn’t set up for that right now. He would’ve easily taken no less than 5 sacks if the defense was allowed to hit him. No doubt he’s going to force throws under pressure in a real game which will result in turnovers. This offensive line is going to require a mobile QB and I didn’t see that at all from him. Personally I think if Franks isn’t the guy and they have to put someone in whose never taken a college snap, it should be Jones. He didn’t look bad in the game either and he’ll be better than all of them when scrambling comes into play, which it will often.

        • GatorLover1996, you have a right to your own opinion but with all due respect that is an accurate observation. He doesn’t process the play quick enough because the ball is always late to his intended target, and more often than not it’s the wrong target. I don’t know how you can watch 3 spring practices now, 3 spring games and all of last season and suggest he’s improved. He simply hasn’t. I’m not saying he won’t or can’t improve between now and Sept but so far there is a mountain of evidence to suggest he more than likely won’t.

          And your comment on Trask was silly. It’s almost like you have something personal against the kid. He may not be the answer either but it’s becoming ridiculous when people keep saying Franks is ahead. I simply don’t believe it and everything we’ve seen up to this point suggests otherwise.

        • GatorLover1996, you have a right to your own opinion but with all due respect that is an inaccurate observation. He doesn’t process the play quick enough because the ball is always late to his intended target, and more often than not it’s the wrong target. I don’t know how you can watch 3 spring practices now, 3 spring games and all of last season and suggest he’s improved. He simply hasn’t. I’m not saying he won’t or can’t improve between now and Sept but so far there is a mountain of evidence to suggest he more than likely won’t.

          And your comment on Trask was silly. It’s almost like you have something personal against the kid. He may not be the answer either but it’s becoming ridiculous when people keep saying Franks is ahead. I simply don’t believe it and everything we’ve seen up to this point suggests otherwise.

    • gatorlover. I believe you have way undervalued Trask’s potential at Florida. Have you actually witnessed him play in person? And I suggest you check Trask’s stats in high school. He did not start there because the other QB was a true duel threat QB and a terrific runner. But Trask put up some outstanding stats in high school when he did play. He has a lot of undeveloped talent to this point. But I think that talent is starting to come forth and I also predict he will be the starter game one, not Franks. And I went to school with Reaves, and he and Franks are totally different QBs. Reaves was a great passer with a lot of touch, and he had that “it” in the pocket that Franks has never shown to this date. And Reaves was a completely stationary pocket QB. He had no running ability at all. Franks is much bigger and much more athletic. But nowhere near the type of pocket passer that Reaves was so far.

      • And Gatorlover. Trask has a very strong arm. Mullen has stated that. So has Johnson. And did you watch that back shoulder pass to Cleveland? That was a NFL arm and a NFL throw. I think you need to study and watch Trask play more. Your information on him is lacking.

  4. Either you trust Mullen to put in the best qb that he believes will help win, or you have a preconceived idea that you know better than the coaching staff about players. I’m not sure which qb will end up starting game 1, but I trust that Mullen will play the guys that he believes are the best.

  5. Why pay attention to ANYTHING coaches or players say? It’s total nonsense! To illustrate this fact, let’s pull out a golden oldie from a few years ago. Vernon Hargreaves III proclaimed that Jeff Driskel, yes Jeff Driskel, was the best QB in America at SEC Media Days.
    Franks is Driskel 2.0. Only thing is, Franks is so dumb he makes Driskel look like a rocket scientist.

      • He hasn’t played. He’s still an awful QB who, just like Franks, is given the benefit of a doubt solely because he has a million dollar body. But, the most important asset for a QB resides above the neck, not below it. It’s not “coaching” that’s the reason Driskel sucks. I predict Franks will also continue to suck. What will be the excuse made for Franks?
        One thing remains true. Many Gator fans always make excuses instead of seeing the obvious. Driskel and Franks suck because of who they see in the mirror, not anything else.

        • Still hard up on Driskel huh Mikey? Between your obsession with him and now once again talking about the player’s bodies you think maybe it’s time you come out of the closet? Is that where all your pent up issues stem from? It’s okay Mikey, step out of the closet and free yourself of the burden and allow yourself to finally have a life away from the computer where you release all your frustrations. I fully understand what makes you tick now. That explains everything. Free yourself Mikey, free yourself.

    • No, Franks is not dumb. That would be so called fans like you who are dumb. The one who sucks is you. You think you know a lot about football, but calling any college kid dumb, shows your lack of intelligence. Let’s let Mullen and the NFL decide who can play and who can’t.

    • Tebowcurse. The only thing dumb and the only thing that sucks is a internet troll like you. Why are you such a hateful person? Seriously. Hate just spills out from the depths of your soul. And Franks is not dumb enough to sell the weed out of his apartment and have his apartment raided by police, like your beloved FSU QB.

    • At what point do we start blaming the people who constantly feed this troll instead of the troll? You tell the person throwing popcorn to stop if the pigeons or seagulls get out of hand, you dont yell at the birds. If you guys stop feeding him, he will leave. I think some of you simply cant do that, its like getting the word, you just cant not reply. You guys are the real reason we have this troll firmly rooted into our comment section.

  6. We should pay very little attention to the vocal fans. Let’s let Mullen decide. I am quite sure he will not go with a guy who couldn’t start at Manvel High, but we shall see. Vocal fans thought Brissett couldn’t play. He is in the NFL. Vocal fans thought Driskell couldn’t play. NFL. Vocal fans think they know a lot about Franks. I trust Mullen and staff a whole lot more than vocal fans. I believe with far better coaching that Franks is a budding superstar. Evidently, the players do as well. Yes, Belton is a nice little town, but not sure Trask could even start there.

  7. Will be a dog fight for #1 QB for first game. Rarely agree with the choice of Westminster dog of the year ether. Think I’ll box a trifecta of Trask, Frank’s, Jones. Then just like at Derby Lane on a sunny Saturday afternoon a Grad Transfer ( Who ? ) will step in and shred my bet. Just didn’t see that puppy showing up. Now that my #2 (Allen) has transferred, then Frank’s to start just because, Trask to take over and Jones to finish the season.

  8. Franks spring game was no different than his play last year. He scans the field, can’t find anyone open and bails out of the pocket and throws on the run. Or his passes are sideline to sideline. When he does throw the bomb it usually misses it mark. When have you seen Franks throw down the middle on a deeper route or a deep crossing pattern? He can’t. He says all the right things but fails to deliver. Trask isn’t a whole lot better but imo his passing is better than Franks. It appears that we still don’t have a competent qb, I believe they will be better with this coaching staff but we remain in a bad state. Hopefully our D and RB’s will get us through. I see a 7-5 or 8-4 record. Hopefully our freshman qb grows up quickly.

    Franks seems to be a good guy, a fun loving guy that is very likable to the other players. Trask appears to be more reserved, less outgoing. So, it doesn’t surprise me that the Franks is the teams favorite. But personality will only get you so far, leaders, real leaders lead with action not talk.

    • So John, you say, ”I see a 7-5 or 8-4 record.”
      Please tell us, who will beat U.F. as of today?
      Have you even seen the ”schedule”? It favors U.F.!
      I will help ya’ out, here:
      Charleston Southern (hoe opener), U.K. (home), Colorado State (Thanks Mac!), Tennessee (away), Miss. State (Thanks Dan, for knowing the roster.), L.S.U. (Thanks L.S.U. A.D., we’re at HOME… again!), Vandy, U.G.A. (Jax), Mizzou, Carolina, Idaho (too busy looking for that lost, big potato on a truck), and F.S. who.
      So please name the ”5 loses”!?!? I can’t!
      In fact, U.F. could be 7-0 going into Jax., if they are as ”hungry” as they say. Go Gators!

  9. The difference in the assessment of Franks by fans v. players is players see what he does and says daily and project that into the future. We fans can’t help focusing on the past. And it doesn’t help that Franks inherited a recent history of poor offense and QB play. That makes us anxious and impatient. It also doesn’t help that we’ve seen frosh QBs kill it the last couple years. I want whoever to succeed. Both. But it’s hard to wait much longer though we have to and trust Coach.

  10. Come on people!! Before you throw anyone under the bus remember this is a different coaching staff that’s only been here a few months.This whole team, QBs in particular, needs better coaching than what they’ve received from the previous regimes. Just give the coaches a chance to coach and the players a chance to learn, please.

  11. I am sure that Franks is a great guy, excellent leader and an amazing athlete. His issue is he CAN NOT read defenses. That is something at this level, we do not have four years more of dinking and dunking around to figure out.

  12. If the offensive line does not improve dramatically it does not matter who is playing quarterback. There are no quarterbacks on the top ten teams in the country who could be much more successful behind our O line than the QB’s we have had the last few years. Great team play on both sides of the ball begins in the trenches. All this focus on the QB is normal, but completely misses the real point. The same goes for “DBU”. Without D line stuffing the run and pressuring the QB, the D backs eventually get torched. Very little good happens behind bad line play. This is a football fact of life.

  13. With all due respect, there are a LOT of “locker room”-type guys who are great teammates, great personalities, even great leaders, who simply do not have the talent to get it done at this level. Teammates are not the best judge of talent. I SINCERELY hope I’m wrong here. But I’ve seen nothing so far that gives me much confidence that Franks is suddenly going to turn a corner and be a great quarterback.