Franks, Trask say they’re not worried about quarterback competition

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Florida quarterbacks Feleipe Franks (13) and Kyle Trask (11) throw passes during the first football practice of preseason camp Friday at UF. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

Unlike most in Gator Nation who are desperate for the impending news concerning who Florida’s starting quarterback is going to be, the two main combatants for the job seem almost indifferent about it.

Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask don’t seem nervous, don’t seem anxious, don’t seem worried about the outcome — or when that outcome is going be announced by coach Dan Mullen.

If you listen to them, they are just two quarterbacks still going about their business on the practice field and in the film room and not worrying about anything else.

“I don’t know who he’s going to name,” Franks said Tuesday. “It’s not that big of a deal right now. For the players, especially the quarterbacks, it’s just going out there every day and competing and having fun.

“I’m not really worried about it. I’m more worried about coming more together as a team, building bonds and getting our offense going.

“I could care less. I just want to win. It means more to me. I’m not worried about starting.”

Trask pretty much echoed his competition Tuesday. He’s not focused on winning the job, he’s focused on getting better prepared to do the job if he happens to be the guy.

“That’s an upstairs decision,” Trask said. “I’m going to try to do what I can do to the best of my ability. My focus is just on grinding day in and day out and just getting better every day. No (anxiety).

“We’re human, so it’s in the back of our minds, but we’re all best friends and we’re just grinding together every day.”

Trask, Franks and true freshman Emory Jones have been competing against each other for the starting role since last spring.

Although Jones is technically still in the running, all indications are it likely will come down to either Franks or Trask lining up behind center in the Sept. 1 opener against Charleston Southern.

Now that they’re close to the finish line, Franks and Trask seem to be taking the low key/indifferent approach. Especially Franks.

When Franks was asked if he’s confident he’ll be the guy, he said, “I haven’t even thought about it. I’m not worried about it. I have not thought about it.

“When your name is called, just produce. You can’t be thinking about a million other things. I’m not worried about who’s starting. I don’t really care. I just worry about winning games and being productive.”

According to Mullen, all three quarterbacks have made progress over the course of preseason camp. All struggled with consistency in the first scrimmage, then they all rebounded and earned a champion’s grade in the second scrimmage Sunday night.

Franks and Trask both said they feel more comfortable in the offense and have improved under the tutelage of Mullen and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson.

“I’ve learned to be a game manager and just be a well-rounded quarterback,” Franks said. “It’s not making big plays, but making the normal plays and just being well-rounded, good game manager, good leader.

“I’m improving. There’s still room to always grow, but I’m definitely taking steps every day. I’m getting more and more comfortable in the offense.”

Mullen and Johnson are bringing that comfort level for all the quarterbacks through coaching and with the pace they’ve brought them along in the offense, Trask said.

“Coach Mullen and his staff have given us the right amount of plays and install at a time we can actually focus on a certain number of plays at a time, where we can actually grasp the information of the play, the ins and outs of everything,” Trask said. “Mullen and his staff have done a great job feeding us the information with the right chunks at a time.

“They try to keep the verbiage down so it’s easier to remember. The credit goes upstairs. The coaches have done a great job teaching us the plays and showing us all the looks and what can happen no matter what defense shows up.”

Mullen said Monday that he and Johnson will sit down at some point this week, go over the situation at quarterback and then, at some point, decide who the starter is going to be.

Mullen has offered no timetable to the media. Or the quarterbacks.

“I don’t know what he’s told the media, but, I don’t know any particular date or anything like that,” Trask said. “I’m just trying to get better every day and focus on myself.”

 

45 COMMENTS

    • You know it. They are young and human, so logic dictates that they are thinking about it. Everyone has to be so politically correct these days for fear that they agitate even one other person. Bottom line up front is that the starter better be starter material. We have the team with potential and we do not need sorry QB play this year. If they have to use the rotation of RB’s that we have and play clock control football. Odds will be in the teams favor for less mistakes being made by the QB. I just hope Coach Mullen makes the right choice and not the politically correct one. GO GATORS!!!

  1. They both want to start. But it looks like these guys are competitors but more important they are team first. If they really have put ego aside this will be a special group. Everyone wants to be the guy takes a huge person to not let ego get in the way. My guess is that no matter who starts there will be plays that ask these guys are going to be in the field.

    • Leland, of course they both WANT to be the starter, so for Franks to say that he “doesn’t care” is surely not the case, so I see your point, but don’t see it as lying. Both are competitive athletes, but they both are trying to adhere to the Team First mantra, and I believe they are both sincere in that regard. I think they are both focusing on doing their job to the best of their abilities and leaving the results to the coaches decide. I agree with 65 in that both these guys have put egos aside and will stand ready to support the other once the starter is announced.

  2. Truthfully, they’re only one play away from ”starting.” So I hope they learn like they’re on THE FIRST TEAM ‘O’. Either way, I wanna’ see some 1st downs, some drives, and some scoring (again)!
    And I don’t care if it’s a purple dinosaur with pink spots starting at Q.B., just win baby! Go Gators!

  3. These players are now well coached. They are focused on the things they can control and not worrying about the things they can’t. This is the result of competent coaches who don’t do idiotic things like create distractions by bringing in an over the hill backup from a team with a losing record and giving him tons of reps instead of actually investing their faith and confidence in the players they, themselves, recruited.

  4. All four of you — the first team of Gator fandom, was it were — missed the most blatant statement of all!
    When Franks said, “I could care less”, the first thing I thought of was Daz Wazzle. I pity the fool when Daz gets done with him! 😜

    Now then. Leland is picking up on something, but it’s quite natural when the coach is bringing a team together. Well, a coach like Dan Mullen anyway. Rog has been pointing out for the last week or so how the players seem to have changed under Mullen, and are giving out mature, and dare I say it? Well thought out answers. So in the final analysis — which is like saying ‘at the end of the day’ but changing it up a little for metaphor relief — youse guyses are all correct. So I’ll be the first to say it this time: GO GATORS — WE ARE THE STORM — JUST DO IT!

  5. Regardless of who is initially picked as the starter, the other two scholarship QBs MUST BE READY. We lack depth at the QB position, so all three must do be prepared to start. I like each QB for different reasons. If Franks gets the initial start, I am the Gator offense puts (say) 28 points on the board in the first half. If the Gator D then does its job, Trask can play the 3rd quarter, and we remain well ahead, Jones can play the 4th. This would an ideal opportunity to give them all real time experience, especially Trask and Jones. So Franks needs to get it done in the 1st half (if he starts), to enable the other two QBs to get some experience. GO GATORS!!!

    • Glen. I do not expect to see Jones in the Charleston Southern game at all because of the new redshirt rule. I think Mullen will hold him back for four key games during the season and use him then in situations where needed, and still keep him redshirted for the year. Now, if both Franks and Trask struggle early, Mullen may be forced to use him in more than four games this year.

      • If Mullen think Jones can help them win games, then he’s not going to care about his redshirt and use him just like Tebow was used in ’06. From most of the reports though, he seems to be coming along slowly, so you may be right in him only being used in certain situations to gain experience.

    • Unless the coach isnt telling the truth, there will be no playing of other QB’s for experience. He said once he picks the starter then he will be the QB. I take him at his word. I could only see that happening if we had a very good experienced QB and were way ahead in points. As it is I believe the coach wants the starter to get as much experience as he can before the SEC games start. I wish the coach would do what you are saying, though.

  6. I see your point but disagree. If possible Jones needs to get a taste early. I’m confident Mullen will have us a good enough about pool soon so that it won’t matter. It’s possible that he has.
    I know these interviews sound like Coachella but I actually believe trask and I know he is pushing Franks and maybe Feleipe is approaching the off-season with inward goals instead of worrying about what impressions everyone else has.
    Either way don’t be surprised if we have good about play this year.

    • Mveal thanks for clearing that up. I was trying to figure it out. He said one starter is determined that or guy. I don’t recall he didn’t say the others won’t play. I think I remember him saying he’ll tailor plays to suit the situation. I took that as like what he did with Leak and Tebow and maybe Trask. If OL can handle it defenses would have a hard time reacting to the different styles. Don’t think three will be in mix but two I think is a possibility.

      • But here’s one thing I hate about that. It seems that 95% of the time (don’t ask me to quantify that) when a team switches up QB’s and brings in the “running” QB, everybody in the stadium knows he is going to run the ball. So defending the play isn’t rocket science (no offense to rocket scientists).

        It would seem to me that to keep a defense honest, the running QB should legitimately throw the ball occasionally. Tim Tebow was this kind of guy. When he spelled Chris Leak, defenses knew he could and likely would run (and they still had a hard time taking him down) but he still had the threat of a pass because he did it occasionally.

  7. Just glad to see that the Malik Zaire attitude is off the team. Now, I don’t fully believe that they “don’t care” if they start or not, however I do believe that they both want to win games more than anything. Last year Zaire made everything about starting and made that more important than winning, and I think that attitude was a poison. And then he was given his shot and he stunk it up and then got injured anyway.

    • I sure don’t know, Sly….but so much as pertains to those “experts”, they haven’t got much right yet and I’m not really sure I’d hasten to take their opinion over yours or that of several guys on this forum.

      Trouble is, I’m not sure who the lesser quarterbacks are right now. Only Dan Mullen knows that (or maybe not). What do you think, in order of preference so far?

      • 6, I’d say that Coach Mullen and Coach Johnson know with certainty right now the order of preference. And I’d think they know how and when each guy should and will be used (barring injury or unexpected performances).

        My thoughts, which mean nothing, are that Franks has the benefit of last year’s experience, he’s a team leader, has a big arm, and is more than willing to run. All pluses to Coach Mullen.

        Trask has the more accurate arm and is the better decision maker and will protect the football better. All pluses to Coach Mullen. Not sure about his willingness to run and who knows how he’ll react to 90,000 people in the Swamp or in Death Valley.

        I “think”, Trask will get the nod because of the accuracy, decision-making and taking care of the football. I think Emory Jones will get his shot once he develops, probably next season, as he is the prototype Coach Mullen QB…IF he develops as planned. I have no insight and have not seen them practice, so take all that with less than a grain of salt.

        • I tend to agree with you, Rog…..I think Trask, but in all honesty I don’t know either. I don’t really have a favorite per se, just trying to guess which skill sets are going to be most important to the actual decision makers.

      • I don’t know who the lesser QB’s are either. If Mullen knows, then I think he should give the reps to the winner now. If he doesn’t know, he needs to make a decision at some point with the best information he has available. Waiting too long to make a decision could have negative consequences especially with young quarterbacks who haven’t had a lot of practice reps.

  8. Please , there is no way Franks should start. He should be there to come off the bench in case of an injury and that’s it. actually i like his role in that regard. Emory Jones is without a doubt the logical choice to run the show. Mullen recruited him and he fits his style. He has time to learn as the defense should be able to win the first 4 games. If Mullen is what he is supposed to be , a coach of quarterbacks he has nothing to lose putting Jones in there. please do not put Franks in the starting lineup.

  9. Start the no star, back up QB Trask? You “experts” kill me… Trask wasn’t good enough to win his HIGH SCHOOL QB competition. He should have never been recruited and definitely shouldn’t be on scholarship. Trask and Jake Allen epitomize McElwain’s lack of recruiting prowess and would never have been looked at by Spurrier, Meyer, Zook OR Muschamp! The sooner you guys change your mentality from this bs: “The only good QB is a White QB”… The better your life will be!

  10. TNGatorDad – please keep your conclusions to something that has some basis in fact. Trask is here because his HC BEGGED our coaches to take a look at him, saying he personally screwed the guy by going with a running QB and he was sorry he did. Trask kicked azz every time he was on the field in HS. The comment about white QBs is ridiculous. Do you even care about what you are saying?