Emory Jones awaiting his turn with Gators

Florida quarterback Emory Jones runs the ball during Saturday's Orange & Blue Game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

A former Ohio State commitment and four-star recruit, quarterback Emory Jones brought a lot of talent with him to Gainesville last year, but very little patience.

“Obviously, I came in here thinking I was going to play early,” Jones said.

It didn’t happen. He competed for the starting job last spring, but finished third on the depth chart behind Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask. Then last fall, he saw minimal playing time in four games and redshirted.

So, it was not the start Jones was anticipating when he first arrived in Gainesville.

But over the course of the last year, Jones has learned to be patient. Because he’s seen first-hand how coach Dan Mullen develops quarterbacks and gets them ready to play when their time comes.
Jones is being patient with the process.

“Oh, yeah,” he said after Saturday’s spring game. “Just whenever my time comes, that’s when it is. I see coach Mullen developing Feleipe. I see how Feleipe has grown over the last year. It’s just crazy. I mean, you got a baller now.”

Jones expects to become one, too, and he appears to be headed in that direction with his development. He’s come a long way in his one year under Mullen and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson.

Jones had a strong spring and concluded it with a positive performance in the spring game, showing his ability to make plays with his arm and his legs. He threw for 117 yards and two touchdowns and also led the Orange in rushing with 38 yards, including a 26-yard burst.

Jones says he’s grown comfortable in the offense.

“Me, Kyle, and Feleipe, this is our second time going through the offense in the spring, so we felt more comfortable in the system,” Jones said. “We were all getting better the whole spring.”

Jones was asked what he’s been doing to improve as a passer.

“Just being quicker with my reads,” he said. “Just making faster decisions, tucking the ball down when I need to.”

Looking back to a year ago, Jones said he now realizes he wasn’t in a position to play much as a true freshman. But he appears to be putting himself in that position as a redshirt freshman.

“When I first got here … it’s a different level of football,” he said. “I had a lot to learn. This is my first time ever playing college football, so it was kind of hard. But I sat a year to get ready and do all that stuff, so I feel really confident now.”

And patient.


  1. Emory Jones seems like he is a very bright young man. He is talking patience and at his age that is a very difficult obstacle to over come for so many people. Knowing that he is showing this maturity speaks volume’s for himself and the way CDM is running this program. Creating better QB’s will not only benefit our GATOR TEAM, but will likely open up the NFL for many of them. That is one position that we cannot brag about that have become professional. I expect that CDM and staff will turn our GATORS QB’s into bragging rights to “QB U.” LOL. Time will tell. GO GATORS!!!

    • Ed, thinking back on it when we were young (I know it’s hard to imagine), I seem to recall a big jump in maturity, if not judgement, from 17-18 to 19-20. No doubt tho, he’s indeed a very bright guy — wish I could have had some of those brains at that age, but alas, they had already “migrated”. 🤔

      • G6 – my brains were work – women – alcohol. Wake up and repeat…LOL. At the least, I had a 3 track mind. It kept me in very good shape. As far as our GATORS go, I know we are in very good hands and that should show up on the field this year. We must hit hard, often and early, and that will set the trend for the rest of the season. Really looking forward for year two of the CDM era. GO GATORS!!!

  2. Feleipe Franks is the poster child for what the NFL looks for in QB prospects. He’s tall, athletic, built to take hits in the pocket, with a cannon for an arm. If he truly improves the accuracy and touch of his passes, runs more regularly, minimizes picks and wins another 11 or 12 games, he’ll be a shoe-in NFL first round pick. If that happens, he’s a gone Gator after this season.

    So, it’s good news to hear Emory Jones appears to have matured and gotten more comfortable with CDM’s offense. The Gators may be needing a new starting QB next season. I’ll also sleep better knowing that all won’t be lost if Franks goes down with an injury sometime this season.

    GO GATORS!!!

  3. at intermittent points last year, 3 different gators started at qb in the nfl. none finished college as a gator, and grier looks like a continuance of the trend. hopefully we can start keeping these guys to their full term in Gainesville, but it wouldnt be a surprise to have more transfers. future gators will be baffled as to how things fall apart this decade with the talent we had, but champ just wasnt a head coach.

    • I think MKF was spot on the other day with his comments about expecting it all instantly.

      Champ wasn’t ready. If we ever make a mistake like that again, followed by yet another stupid hire based on being tied to somebody else’s flag — I swear, I’ll root for the Noles! 🤢

      I still maintain, tho, that Muschamp could turn into one helluva SEC coach in time. Only problem is, time seems to be running out…………

  4. ok, i will take the bait.
    your argument, or at least my framing of your argument, is built on three things.
    1. a coach should fit your culture. our culture is defensive backs imo, weve always had good ones. we started the monster man safety position. actually in that sense champ was a good fit.
    2. but gator fans are impatient and love offense, which required constant winning unless you are lighting up the scoreboard, and even then be careful.
    3. being young, champ needed time to get at least a little better in his weaknesses, which is end of game and injuries. some injury could be luck, but some of it is the right strength guy. end of game is offensive in nature.
    ive always felt cdm was right for florida, but ok, i get foley’s bet. and once champ looked like a guy that would not make it here, other than that second year, i kicked in with the anti georgia attack. totally unfair, i know. he is a decent guy and deserved better than fans like me. i wish him well, in the nfl of course!

    • OK….now for the bait and switch! No argument here, bud. As much as I always, basically, liked the guy, I fear I was down on his case too — probably worse than anybody. The tapestry of profanity that hung over my house in Texas probably wasn’t heard in Florida, that’s all. Why? Because I also got so sick of “three and out” during his tenure that I woke up vomiting on most Saturdays. Well, not really — but you get my point.

      The crazy thing is, and I wasn’t sad to see him go….but I still like the guy and think he’s a good man.

      But Foley made three crazier-than-batshyt hires that were totally unready to be a head coach on the big SEC stage: Zook, Muschamp, and Mac. Champ, I do think, is the only one I’d give half a chance to of someday reaching at least goodness.