Even though he has shown improvement from game to game, Feleipe Franks probably still has his doubters out there. But it might be hard to find any among his teammates, based on the positive comments that have been made dating back to camp and throughout the early part of the season.
The latest pro-Franks comments come from junior wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland.
“I feel like he’s playing faster, he’s playing with more confidence,” Cleveland said of Franks. “That’s the big thing, he’s playing with a lot of confidence. And when he plays with confidence, nobody can stop him. He plays with confidence, he’s the best quarterback in the SEC.”
Cleveland said he’s seen tremendous growth in Franks, and that the team is growing with him.
“Oh he’s grown tremendously,” Cleveland said. “Just him being able to pick up Coach Mullen’s offense very fast, very quick. And being a leader, he’s being more of a leader on the team. He’s just telling us to keep working, keep fighting and get open, and just trust him. And that’s key, trusting him.
“He’s bringing us along. The team’s got his back at all
times. When he makes a bad play, we’re all there patting him on the
back telling him to move onto the next play. So, we all rally around
him, because he’s the leader. He’s the engine to the car.”
Franks isn’t the only one on offense starting to show some improvement from game to game. The same can be said of the offensive line, which had its best game of the season against the Vols.
The Gators rushed for 201 yards and Franks had enough time to throw for 172 yards and three touchdowns.
“Yeah, we did (take a step forward), we got a little better,” offensive line coach John Hevesy said. “You see it. There’s a play at the end of the game with Pierce’s (touchdown) run, the run Jordan (Scarlett) had (for a TD) on the first play of the second half. Two as clean executed plays as you’ll see. Even the (65-yard TD pass) to Freddie Swain. Things broke down, but we did our job, six seconds, eight seconds, whatever it needed to be to protect and get it out, throw the ball, score a touchdown.
“So, it comes down to us executing what we’re supposed to do. Two of the most well-executed plays we’ve had. And when you see that and go, ‘Hey, when we do our job and execute, it doesn’t matter what they do. We do our job and execute to perfection we’re going to have success doing it.’ “
Raymond’s special moment
Senior tight end/fullback R.J. Raymond’s first college touchdown is one he’ll never forget. It was a touchdown pass against Tennessee on Saturday night in the same end zone near where his parents were sitting.
“Oh man, when we had that play called and I was sitting there, of course I was nervous,” he said. “Everyone is going to be nervous their first time the play is designed for you. But it felt great finally getting my first reception, especially in one of my least favorite places and making those 102,000 fans be quiet.
“That was just an unreal feeling. And my parents were sitting right up there in the corner. I saw them right after I caught it, and that was a pretty surreal moment.”
Hearing from Horschel
PGA Tour star and former Gator golfer Billy Horschel addressed the team at Tuesday’s practice.
Football players might have a hard time relating to a golfer, but not to the message Horschel delivered.
“Basically you have to go out every day and be ready to prepare at a high level, don’t take practice for granted,” running back Jordan Scarlett said. “He said it’s really important and gotten him to where he is now. So every day at practice just give it our all. That’s basically what Coach Mullen has been preaching the whole time.”