Franks vows improvement after struggling against FSU

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks, right, and coach Corey Bell walk off the field after the Gators lost the Sunshine Showdown rivalry game against Florida State at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Florida redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks took questions from the media shortly after UF’s 38-22 loss Saturday to rival Florida State at The Swamp.

Franks said he took two Ibuprofin before the game to deal with a balky left shoulder. After being sacked five times, Franks said he suffered bruised ribs during the game.

“My ribs hurt pretty bad right now, when I breathe and stuff,” Franks said. “I’m definitely going to try and get maybe a couple (Ibuprofin) before I head out of the building.”

Franks was involved in all four of UF’s turnovers, which led to 28 FSU points. Those turnovers turned out to be critical in the outcome of the game.

“You can’t win games having too many turnovers for touchdowns,” Florida coach Randy Shannon said.

Three of the turnovers came on interceptions by Franks and one came on a strip sack and fumble returned 16 yards by linebacker Jacob Pugh for a touchdown, giving the Seminoles an early 7-0 lead. On the play, FSU defensive end Brian Burns forced the fumble with a strip sack when he beat Florida left tackle Jawaan Taylor around the edge on a pass rush.

In the second quarter, Franks threw a pick-six when FSU cornerback Levonta Taylor cut in front of a pass route and returned it 18 yards for a TD. Franks would have thrown a second pick-six in the fourth quarter if not for a bonehead play by FSU linebacker Matthew Thomas, who tried to dive into the end zone for effect on an interception return and fell short of the goal line at the one-yard line. FSU was backed up to 16 due to a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on Thomas, but still drove for a TD on the short field to put FSU ahead 38-16.

The 6-foot-5 Franks ended a rocky first season starting 8 of 11 games for UF with a record of 3-5 as a starter. He threw two TD passes and three interceptions in the game to finish the year with a TD to interception ratio of 9 to 8.

“A turnover is a turnover,” Franks said. “It happens in the game. Tom Brady throws three interceptions, anybody does it. It’s just part of the game, part of playing quarterback. That’s what a lot of people don’t realize. It’s something I need to improve on going into the offseason.”

Asked whether he sees himself as being involved in the quarterback competition when a new coach is named, Franks replied: “To be honest with you, I haven’t even thought about it. I don’t even know. I’ve been focusing on the FSU game and it just got over.”

But Franks said he has plenty of motivation to improve going into next season.

“There’s always something to get better on,” Franks said. “There’s always going to be somebody who hates you and wants you to leave and all this crazy stuff. It’s just part of the game. Like I said before, I’m just going to keep going to work. I’m not going to listen to what everybody has to say about me. Everybody has their own opinion about me. That’s OK. At the end of the day, I’m going to keep going out there. I’m going to keep on grinding. I’m going to keep on working, keep on competing.”


  1. I admire Franks’ attitude. He’s a really great kid and I hope he does get better. Regardless of what happens in his career at Florida, he’s going to be successful in life with the positive mindset he possesses.

    • Really? Here’s the best quote of the day from Felipe after the game: “No matter what I tell you guys, it’s going to be twisted around and things like that. A turnover is a turnover. It happens in the game. Tom Brady throws three interceptions, anybody does it.” Yep, great attitude, and great perspective.

    • I agree with you Scott. I have heard Coach Spurrier describe how to coach a quarterback. He was very specific in details. I hope we hire a coach who knows how to coach quarterbacks and, if so, I hope Franks is still a Gator to benefit from someone with that knowledge. Feleipe is a quality young man and I think he would greatly show improvement from having the right coach.

    • I agree, all season I was for him. Coaching not good but if you can not improve over the season it’s on you as well. Some of the things he has done were things he should have known in HS. Maybe he is just not that good I do not see him as our starter next year unless he REALLY gets good. Maybe he should watch a lot of film on Tom Brady learn some things.

  2. ”It’s just part of the game , (interceptions) part of playing quarterback. That’s what a lot of people don’t realize.” ~Florida Q.B., Feleipe Franks.
    No, we ”realize” that, Feleipe. As some of us (Gator fans) have been watching Florida Q.B.’s play longer than you’ve been alive, dude! What we don’t ”realize” is why you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results!
    I sincerely hope Franks gets better, as God has blessed him with an athletic body and great arm. It’s the cerebral part that needs improving, Feleipe! And that should be easier than most things, as players can’t ”learn” to be 6′ 5”. Make the most of this opportunity, Franks! And please stop telling us fans ”what we don’t understand”. Understand?!?!

    • He might have a chance if LDR is willing to donate his brain. Can they do that at Shands?

      If not maybe a cerebrospinal fluid exchange similar to Young Frankenstein ( I know, I know… I’m old…LOL)

  3. I admire his statement, but he has a lot to develop, like:
    1=how to study opponents defensive schemes/how to know how to beat it.
    2. How to audible
    3. how to scramble ( he appears to be running like a lame hippo)
    4. how to check off his receivers
    5. A new offensive coordinator and/or coach
    Other than that, everything is fine in Gainesville.

  4. Please Matt Corral…come save us! It is chicken and the egg here. Does the OLine play lead to poor QB play, or does the inability of the QB to execute put the offensive line at too much risk? Hmmm. Take a look over at UGA and see what a quality (freshman) QB did to all the sudden improve their offensive line. Oh, and USCe with their freshman QB last year.

  5. An old saying about moving to the next level is that it takes a while for the the game to “slow down” for a player. The amount of experience required for that to happen, if it ever does, is a critical indicator of the player’s potential for success. Notwithstanding the lack of protection Franks has had, it doesn’t seem like the game has slowed down to a manageable level for him. And his athleticism and obvious courage, which is pretty impressive, can’t make up for that.

  6. Franks has never benefited from competent coaching. Let’s see what happens when he gets a real coach to work with him. If we do hire a competen coach, though, he will be in for a real big surprise if he gives this Tom Brady throws interceptions, too, so what’s the big deal attitude to the new guy. Frank’s ears won’t stop bleeding for three days and he’ll spend the Rey of his career holding a clipboard with that attitude. Mack and he who must not be named are gone daylong with your’re fun to be around as a priority.

  7. The only thing Franks can do is get better. He can’t be any worse, can he? Unfortunately, I don’t think he can get better. He doesn’t appear to have it in him. Doesn’t understand the game. Maybe a real coach would help, but looks like Gators aren’t in the running for one of those. It’s a bad time to be a Gator football fan.

  8. Hate to say this but I could see two interceptions coming because Franks was staring down his intended receiver. Another predictable sign was when he would signal a player (receiver or back) to change position. I knew right then where the ball was going, and so did FSU. I do not blame our QB for the loss, but he has to take responsibility for some of the turnovers. He will improve only when he stops giving away where the ball is going to go. He is talented and dedicated – just needs to change this mental aspect of the game (this is coming from someone who did not play college FB, so take it with a grain of salt).

  9. Throwing ints might be part of the game when you choose the correct receiver and the defense makes a great play. It is not part of the game when you don’t. some ints are on the receivers as well. I could not watch this mess so I don’t have personal knowledge of which these were. He won’t improve without coaching, I think he got almost none from this staff. He appears to be a good person and student, that keeps you on the team to be the guy there is a lot more to be done. Leadership especially, can you imagine Tim saying fumbles are part of the game?

  10. Franks, don’t ever use your name in comparison with Tom Brady please. That would be implying that you are a great QB who may have a bad game. Look in the mirror and take responsibility for one of the worst QB seasons in UF history. Don’t blame your sore arm, Brady wouldn’t do that…Just say, I suck really bad right now and need to vastly improve my QB play if we are going to have any chance of winning a football game. I also can not keep playing this bad and expect for the defense to keep bailing me out of the mess I put us in. There you go, I said it for you since you don’t seem to comprehend the problem. Oh and one more thing, stop having attitude like it’s the fans fault that you suck so bad. THIS TEAM HAS A BUNCH OF PANSY-A55E5!!!

  11. Franks is not an SEC-caliber QB. It’s true that he hasn’t had competent coaching like the rest of the offense. The problem with Franks is that he can’t seem to think at game speed – quick decisions, scanning the field and finding the open man (there were plenty of them yesterday, and plenty of them all season long). This isn’t anything new. Franks and his coaches have been aware of this for a long time now as well the rest of Gator Nation. It just isn’t getting fixed, not even getting better – did this team even practice beating the problem? With this coaching staff, now finally FIRED (way overdue), you never know. Franks could get better with excellent coaching, but whether he can be brought to think at game speed may not be a coachable trait.

  12. He has been here 2 years now and has Not been Coach Up. With Mac and Nuss That was a Major Problem, but he Continues to Struggle and Do the same thing week after week after week. No Improvement. That is the Problem.

    • Houston Gator, you are exactly right. This kid has the size and the skill to do it, he just hasn’t really been coached up very well, and never was truly taught the position until he came here. Felipe was always to be a project that could and still can become a very good QB. Hopefully better QB coaching will help slow the game down for him, which for any player is the key to improvement.

  13. We have not had a competent offensive coordinator or quarterback coach since Dan Mullen. EVERY quarterback since Tebow struggled, Luke Del Rio included. He stared down his receivers all of last year indicating that Franks’ problem is the coaching he has received. He does have an arm and he certainly struggles to find the open receiver but much of that could be the way Nussmeier wants him to play. They should have let Franks audible some. Nussmeier coached the game yesterday and sent in the plays. He should have been the first one fired. I think we can find the best quarterback in the world but if we don’t find a competent quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, they will be added to the long list of quarterbacks that didn’t pan out at Florida. Now let’s go get a great coach and staff!

  14. Tunaboat nails it. Despite Franks positives & potential, he does not have the ability to see & process his options quick enough. Top caliber QB’s can do this within 2-3 seconds. Maybe we need a practice drill with a 3 second timer. ‘Snap’ … process the D… locate the options & get rid of the ball before the buzzer or consider yourself sacked. Over & over & over & … This could even be practiced on a video screen using a software program generating random game films or flash cards. One other thing, he makes his hand offs too obvious &, of course, stares down only 1 receiver. The hand offs look like he’s telling the D “Hey look here – here’s the ball.”

    • Jim Sey…’re the first one to mention bad hand offs to a running back which you are spot on about, but what about his once in a blue moon play action hand offs that fools no one with the fake runner being a yard or so away from the ball and even those in the nose bleed seats can see a pass coming. Dumb me, I always thought a play action was supposed to con the defense to a run and not a pass.

  15. What makes Franks a non-SEC caliber QB is that despite his talent, he is too raw. But the irony is that in most situations a QB like Franks would have been permanently benched as a starter and Mac even tried to do do it by going to Del Rio. I really think that Franks will get another shot on the field sooner or later either as a Gator or somewhere else. I also see him developing as some sort of late bloomer and eventually developing into a serviceable college QB.

  16. I dunno…it looked like he got steadily worse as the season went on. And to insinuate that Franks’ problem is coaching is ignorant. If a new QB has the tools, he can be ‘fine tuned’ to use the tools properly. If he does not have the tools (talent), all the coaching in the world wont make him a championship caliber player. You don’t think coaches are telling him not to stare down receivers, or hold the ball too long and to get rid of it instead of taking a sack and 12 yard loss? Or the myriad of other things he does or doesn’t do that contributes to the losses? If he can’t do what he’s coached to do it’s not the coaches fault. The fact is he does not have ‘it’ and will not thrive in this league. Bottom line is we ‘whiffed’ on this kid. And the comments after the game were interesting to say the least. And I’ll go back, again, to a comment after one of the earlier losses…” God has predetermined the outcome of these games…so I’m just gonna go out there and have fun.” That, coupled with some of the ” us fans don’t understand that Int’s are just part of the game” type stuff sounds like he doesn’t have the integrity to admit that he’s not ready to play in the SEC. And the ‘fans don’t understand the game’ (paraphrasing), stuff sounds like it’s right out of the Mac playbook.
    Now, if we hire another so called “QB whisperer” and Franks turns it around and brings this team back to relevance, then I’ll come here and admit I was wrong…and believe me, I’m a Gator, I want him to succeed as a Florida Gator, but I just don’t think he’s the guy. Saw too much this year to sway my thinking otherwise.
    So lets go hire a coach and move past this quagmire and see what 2018 brings.

  17. I feel a consistent problem with UF qbs / WRs / offenses over the past seven years or so is timing between receiver and qb. The ball needs to be in the air sooner. The qb needs to decide where he’s going and throw it at the break. Only Grier in his few games and early in del Rio’s time did we see anything like this. If you wait too long the defense recovers and they either aren’t open or you throw a pick. Recieviers are open in both time and space

    • Danny boy was the ‘master’ at throwing to a spot, most of the time before the WR even made the cut. Of course the receivers had to run precise routes for it to work but back in those days Spurrier had the horses to run razor sharp routes…Danny + All American WR’s= Heisman!

  18. The real problem is that the football program is so screwed up that it would put a player on the field game after game that is not ready to play.

    Franks is just a student at this point and I hope for his sake that he does not have to go through this next year.

  19. Franks has vowed improvement after every loss. If he keeps up this improvement, he’ll find he’s improved his bench position behind Trask and Allen. Both of them have the skill set for a Dan Mullen or Scott Frost offense.

  20. Guys are you kidding? call it as is. He has no awareness of the field or the players around him.He is no quarterback, all he has is a strong arm.
    He could have won some of these games or most if he throws to the many players open in so many plays instead of playing afraid and concentrating on one player.
    That is a Florida quarterback? The new coach must force him to transfer .
    I have watched Florida football since 1973 and I have never seen years like the last seven years .
    Hussein Eltouni
    Alumnus 1975