With quarterback Luke Del Rio out for the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on his broken collarbone Monday, the Florida Gators are working to get others ready to play behind starter Feleipe Franks.
Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire, who struggled coming off the bench in relief off Franks in the loss to Michigan, moves up to the No. 2 spot, while slot receiver and former quarterback Kadarius Toney would be the next in behind Zaire. UF also is going to give more practice reps to true freshman Jake Allen, who is expected to redshirt this season.
“(Zaire) is doing a great job. He’ll continue to do that, he’ll be a big piece moving forward with what we’re doing,” UF coach Jim McElwain said Monday. “We’ll get Jake Allen (ready) as well. He’s been getting some (reps), now he’ll get a little bit more. And we’ve got to continue to grow what we’re doing with Kadarius at that position.”
Redshirt freshman Kyle Trask, who finished the spring as the No. 2 quarterback behind Franks, is still recovering from foot surgery and is not a factor at this point.
“No, he’s still a ways away,” McElwain said.
Del Rio, who earned the starting role against Vanderbilt after rallying UF to a win at Kentucky the week before, was injured late in the first half Saturday. Franks, the former starter, came on and led the Gators on two long touchdown drives in the decisive third quarter. He finished with 185 yards passing.
McElwain said Del Rio was scheduled to undergo surgery Monday afternoon.
“(He’s) disappointed, but you know what, all things considered pretty darned good spirits,” McElwain said. “Just the way even he said, ‘Feleipe, go get it.’ I think that was something that was pretty good.”