SEC Media Days Notebook: UF’s starting QB will be obvious, Mullen says

Florida head coach Dan Mullen speaks during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference media days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Amis)

ATLANTA — Florida coach Dan Mullen is no closer to knowing who his starting quarterback is now than he was at the end of the spring. But he did reveal Tuesday that there’s a chance he’ll be playing more than one at the start of the season.

“I would love to name one today if we could,” Mullen said. “That’s a comforting thing for everybody — this is the guy. But we’ve got to see who separates themselves out to be the guy.

“There is a good chance you can see one, you can see two, you can see three. It will be interesting to see. I haven’t been through an offseason with these guys. That’s when you see it.”

Mullen has not worked with the quarterbacks since the spring. He said he’ll have a better idea how the QB situation is going to shake out once preseason camp is underway in August.

“Who’s going to give us the best opportunity to win football games?” he said. “It’s pretty obvious when you get on the field. The biggest one to me, when you get on the field, this guy’s going to give us hands down the best opportunity to win football games.”

Status quo for Jefferson, Grimes

Mullen said there is nothing new to report on the eligibility of wide receiver transfers Van Jefferson and Trevon Grimes. Both are seeking a waiver from the NCAA that would make them eligible this season.

“I don’t want to say (it’s) frustrating, because just having done this a long time within the NCAA, you just understand that it’s a process,” Mullen said. “And as the process plays out, you get a feel, we feel good or bad about one thing or the other, and hopefully we’ll be able to announce something in the near future about what’s going on with the transfers.”

Shuler update

Speaking of transfers, West Virginia graduate transfer Adam Shuler still isn’t on the Florida roster because he hasn’t enrolled in classes.

He’s expected to start classes in the fall semester and join the team in August.

Shuler is expected to provide depth at defensive end. He started eight games at WVU last season. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Cece still rehabbing

Florida’s Cece Jefferson enjoyed his time at SEC Media Days, entertaining media members and answering questions about Florida’s new defense.

Eventually, the subject of his surgically-repaired shoulder came up.

“My shoulder? My shoulder is fine, thanks for asking,” Jefferson said.

The defensive end had surgery after suffering a labrum injury during Florida’s spring game.

“I’m taking my rehab day-by-day, attacking my rehab,” he said.

Jefferson has not been cleared for fall practice, but said he “hopefully” will be able to play in Florida’s opener Sept. 1.

’Dogs down to two QBs

Georgia coach Kirby Smart had to quickly correct a writer who asked him how good UGA’s quarterback situation is with Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason and Justin Fields, all five-star prospects coming out of high school.

Eason, of course, transferred to Washington after last season.

“If we had all three of them, we’d be sitting pretty good,” Smart said. “Eason is gone. He transferred.”

Eason’s departure leaves the Bulldogs with only two scholarship quarterbacks.

Fromm took the starting role away from Eason as a true freshman last season. Fields, an early enrollee, competed with Fromm in the spring.

The Bulldogs are getting Fields ready to play.

“I’m excited about the things he’s done,” Smart said. “He gives us an element in our offense that we don’t have. Excited to see what he can do.

“He’s going to come in and compete very similar to the way Jake Fromm came in and competed with Eason. He’s coming in to compete and learn our system. He’s made the players around him better. He’s embraced the challenge of learning the offense, and he’s a very bright young man.”

Some new rules

College football fans will no longer see players playing without knee pads. There’s a new NCAA rule that knee pads and pants must cover the knee.

Players will be sent off if they come out with exposed knees.

“It’s almost like helmet off. They have to stay out one play,” said Steve Shaw, the SEC’s coordinator of football officials. “And if they get it corrected, they can come back in.”

The knee pad rule is one of several new rules that Shaw addressed.

Here are two: If a return team calls a fair catch on a kickoff inside the 25-yard line the ball will come out to the 25, and blocking below the waist beyond 5 yards of the line of scrimmage is a major penalty. Both are player safety rules, Shaw said.


  1. Why do we even have kick-offs anymore? Most go into the end zone, and now those that don’t will mostly start on the 25 yard line. Why not just skip kick-offs and avoid another reason for a long TV timeout??? Lets watch the guys play, not trot on then off the field for another TV timeout.

  2. The more I think about it, who cares if Georgia is down to 2 scholarship quarterbacks? Both of them are 8-star recruits ( a new category reserved just for Georgia) and have been certified by the Vatican for walking on water.

    So much as pertains to knee pads, I hope the NCAA received more than a few orthopedic consults on the measure, which will surely prevent some bruising but not the most damaging injuries the knee can sustain. It’s impact on mobility, eg, cutting, remains to be seen.

      • CO,6, close, but the Vatican requires 3 bona fide miracles attributed to the person to be declared a “saint”. I think we can give Smart one miracle for the number of 8* star recruits he has brought in to UGA in just 3 seasons. He came close to a second one in LY’s NC game, but Saint Nick grabbed it from him at the finish line, so I think Smart still has 2 to go.
        The above info takes into account the all true believers of Christianity are already saints, and I state this to stay out of trouble with my devout Baptist wife, but she is a good Gator too!

        • Bless her little ol’ pea-pickin’ heart too, Dan! My wife, as much as I love her guts, thinks I’m childish (when it comes to the Gators), obscene (I can’t help it, 32 years in the Army will do that to you), and crazy (again when it comes to the Gators). Or something like that, I don’t generally listen between September and January.