Just when you thought you’d seen the last of Feleipe Franks, he’s heading back to The Swamp. This time he won’t be quarterbacking the Gators, he’ll be trying to beat them.
Arkansas, Franks’ transfer destination, has been added to Florida’s conference-only 2020 schedule along with Texas A&M, the SEC announced Friday.
“The SEC office and Commissioner (Greg) Sankey have worked tirelessly to help its member schools and our student-athletes move forward given unprecedented circumstances; from putting together detailed medical plans, guaranteeing scholarships for athletes who wish to opt-out, to plotting a course for what seasons and schedules could look like,” UF athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a school release.
The SEC will announce the complete league schedule, with dates, next week.
The Franks vs. Florida duel certainly adds considerable intrigue to UF’s new schedule.
In Franks’ up-and-down career as the Gators’ starting quarterback, it ended with a painful downer, a dislocated ankle in the SEC opener against Kentucky last season that effectively ended his UF career — and launched Kyle Trask’s.
After the big season Trask had, it was obvious to everyone, and especially to Franks, that Franks’ time as UF’s starting quarterback was over — and he transferred to Arkansas to play for new coach Sam Pittman, probably anticipating he would not be going against his former teammates this fall.
The Gators are 9-2 against Arkansas all time. In the last meetings the Razorbacks clubbed the Gators 31-10 at Fayetteville in 2016.
In his two-plus seasons as the UF starter, Franks threw for 4,593 yards and 38 touchdowns. He had a breakout season in 2018, throwing for 2,457 yards and 24 TDs with only six interceptions.
UF will face Texas A&M for only the fifth time. The series is tied 2-2, with the Aggies winning the last matchup 19-17 in The Swamp in 2017. Eight days later, following a 42-2 loss to Georgia, Florida parted ways with head coach Jim McElwain.
Already on the UF schedule are Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Missouri.
“Given all the unknowns we face, today’s announcements regarding the SEC initial COVID-19 management requirements, along with the identification of two additional opponents in football, provide a solid framework with a goal of giving our teams the opportunity to compete in a healthy environment during the 2020-21 school year,” Stricklin said.
The start of the season, originally set for Sept. 5, has been pushed back to Sept. 26. On UF’s original schedule, the Gators were scheduled to play at Tennessee on that date.
2020 UF schedule
at Ole Miss