Quarterback class officially opened on the Florida practice Field on Friday, and all three quarterbacks received a passing grade for their opening-day performance.
“There was some solid things that I saw from those guys,” UF coach Dan Mullen said of Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask and Emory Jones. “I thought all three of them did a good job out there.
“Emory did a good job. I’m going to watch some film. I’ll mess that up sometimes, where he is a freshman and I expect to look like a freshman and sometimes he doesn’t look like a freshman because he has had a spring and you can see he has worked hard at it. Other days I’ll go out there, and I think the other way, where I’m like, he should look better than that. Then I’ll remember, ‘Oh, he’s a freshman.
“I saw some really good things (from the quarterbacks).”
Franks, last season’s starter, opened practice with the No. 1 offense, but the three quarterbacks ended up sharing reps throughout the day.
Mullen, who talked Thursday about the quarterbacks needing to be successful checking down and consistently completing the routine passes, said the QB play of the day was a 6-yard completion.
“The best play today I saw was probably Trask. They doubled an out cut, and he checked it down for six yards,” Mullen said. “That’s the best play we saw. They’re kind of shocked, ‘Didn’t you see that bomb I threw into double coverage and we scored a touchdown?’
“No. I said that’s not the best play. That’s starting to show a grasp, the little things of managing every aspect of the game. That’s the mental side of things I really want them to pick up.”
Mullen said the most consistent quarterback is going to win the job, not necessarily the one who makes the biggest plays over the next few weeks.
Consistency of play is something he continues to stress to the quarterbacks.
“I’ve got to make sure to keep reiterating to them is not trying to make plays to maybe win the job,” Mullen said. “As a guy you’re thinking, ‘I’m going to go out, I’m competing, I’m going to win this job. Watch to see all the plays I can throw, because great quarterbacks make unspectacular plays.’
“I want to see you consistently make the unspectacular play. That doesn’t always compute for young people. That’s the whole deal.
“They need to get into, ‘I don’t have to make a big play. I have to manage the game and be consistent in our performance.’ Keep reminding them to do that. They don’t have to make a big play to win the job. Whoever is the most consistent guy is going to (win it).”
At the team’s media day Thursday, Mullen said that Franks has a “tremendous” skill set, has great athletic ability, a strong arm and the ability to make big plays, but needs to become more consistent.
Mullen broke down Trask’s game after Friday’s practice.
“One of the things that I do like that Kyle does is he’s very conscious about trying to do what we ask him to do,” Mullen said. “He’s got great size within the pocket. He does a great job of staying tall in the pocket and seeing what’s going on to be able to distribute the ball. He’s got a bunch of arm talent.
“The one great thing that he showed, too, is he’s not Michael Vick back there running around. But he’s a very willing runner and he runs physical as a big guy. He’s more than capable to doing everything we need him to do to be really successful at it.”
The quarterbacks traditionally wear non-contact jerseys in practice. In Mullen’s offense, though, the quarterback can be a featured runner at times, and that means at some point in preseason camp, the QBs will be going live to see how they execute that aspect of the offense.
Mullen said that overall it’s going to be a physical camp for everybody at times. But it won’t be over the top.
“That’s a fine line,” he said. “We’ll be very physical at times during camp, and we won’t be at other times. I want to make sure we have a certain physical and mental toughness to us when we go out there, that we’re going to be a very physical football team how we play.
“I love being a physical football team. I love people after games to know that they played Florida and just say, ‘Well, that’s a little different, those kids are a little different when you have to play those games.’ ”