Missouri’s Lock good example for Florida’s Franks

Missouri quarterback Drew Lock looks for an open receiver between Florida defenders during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

ATLANTA — A quick perusal of social media, college football sites and the countless blogs with an opinion would make it seem UF redshirt sophomore quarterback Feleipe Franks has absolutely no chance at becoming a successful quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.

But SEC Media Days featured a quarterback Wednesday who bounced back after his first season to become one of the premier signal-callers in the conference: Missouri’s Drew Lock.

Lock, 21, threw for 1,332 yards with a 49 percent completion percentage as a freshman in Columbia, with just four touchdown passes and eight interceptions, as the Tigers finished the 2015 season with a 5-7 record. There were undoubtedly skeptics when it came to Lock’s potential and future at Missouri entering that offseason, as there are with Franks at Florida.

Yet when coach Barry Odom arrived the following season, Lock looked like a future NFL quarterback in the making, despite the 4-8 record. Odom’s presence — a hiring Gene Chizik initially called “a desperation move” — has been credited with helping Lock realize his potential.

Which raises the question of why have many written Franks off after just one season, especially considering the turnarounds many make following a year of experience and a new head coach.

It was something Lock experienced himself as a freshman.

“So he’s definitely walked into something that I’ve gone through myself,” Lock said of Franks. “He’s definitely a tough soul, he’s a good quarterback and he’s going to get through it. But I think having a new coach can freshen up your mind, get you back in the groove of maybe being your old self. He was definitely a baller in high school to be able to get to Florida, so he knows how to play football, he knows how to be a great quarterback. He did some great things in his freshman year.”

Lock had one caveat about wishing Franks success in the future, however.

“He’ll be a good quarterback,” Lock said, “but I’m just hoping he doesn’t hit his stride when he plays Missouri this year.”

And Lock understands the mental and physical curve quarterbacks go through upon arriving at the collegiate level, saying he was a much quieter and reserved presence in his inaugural year at Mizzou. Like Franks, Lock believed his athleticism would translate from high school and allow him to continue dominating the opposition.

“I think the whole thing was ‘How in the world and why in the world do guys move this fast at that weight and that size’, because that shouldn’t be fair. I thought I could out-athlete people in my freshman year, because that’s what I did in high school,” Lock said. “Then when you go and play Florida with (Vernon) Hargreaves, (Quincy) Wilson and (Jalen) Tabor, it becomes a different story.”

Anyone searching for more evidence as to how far Lock has come simply should ask Odom about his senior leader coming back for one final ride.

“From the time our bowl game was over to now, his football IQ is better than maybe the jump he made from his freshman year to now,” Odom said of Lock. “He’s as talented as any quarterback in the country.”


  1. ”I think having a new coach can freshen up your mind, get you back in the groove…” -Drew Lock.
    Great advice, now here’s mine, Franks: DON’T READ THESE ONLINE SITES, PERIOD! (In fact, I hope you don’t even see this, honestly). But when things are good, stay humble and hungry. When things go south, learn and don’t make the ”same mistakes” twice.
    The best Q.B.s I’ve watched in my 50 years of Gainesville/Gator life were the ones who were humble, got better each year, and stayed grounded throughout their Gator careers.

  2. Lock is a good example for anyone on how to handle adversity and persevere. Congrats to him on all his hard won success and hope he has a great year but maybe one off game against the Gator Win Machine!

  3. Franks had no coaching. Mac as offensive mind is offensive. Didn’t see it in the league he came from. That aside Franks wasn’t coached and wasn’t fit. We all have talked about whether he has the mind for it. Here is a thought I have on that. If and only if (logic statement) he can be 25-30% better than last year, then we will be winning games. He will finish the year and likely be replaced by Jones. If he exceeds 30% he will cement himself as the starter to beat going forward of this season. If he is 50% better our offense will be worthy of being in it in any game. This is for passing and reads. The run game should balance things out. The 3rd and long 2 yard pass plays I hope are a thing of the past. Check list targets WR’s should be night and day better if there S&C and coaching lets them separate, block and run a route that looks like a route.. TE I think these guys are the most intriguing in potential. RB loaded in depth and the different styles of running should give defenses a fit.