HOOVER, Ala. — After signing with the Boston Red Sox for $40,000 last week, Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks arrived at SEC Media Day on Monday expecting to field a lot of baseball questions. And, sure enough, many were pitched to him.
But the redshirt junior reiterated that all of his focus is on football at the moment.
“I’m fully committed to football,” he said. “There’s not any wavering from that. I play at the University of Florida. I want to go, obviously, to the next level and be the best I can be. But if it doesn’t work out, I think I’ll have a back-up plan I can lean my shoulder on.
“My end goal is to make it to the (NFL) and show everybody before the draft days why I should be their quarterback. Why I should be that guy that they’re taking a chance on.
“But I have to focus on what’s happening now, and that’s the season coming up to play for teammates and family members and all this other stuff. I’m going to worry about the now and let that take care of itself.”
UF coach Dan Mullen, who is from New Hampshire and is a Red Sox fan, poked a little fun at Franks about baseball.
“He can throw. He’s got a lot of heat,” Mullen said. “He said he threw at 95 (miles an hour) in the workout for (the Red Sox). But he’s still working on his accuracy (in football). I don’t know if I’d want to get in the batter’s box if he’s throwing 95. But I think it’s great. I think it’s a great honor for him to have that opportunity.
“Maybe when football is done, maybe he has a future in baseball. That’d be really exciting for him. I’d be really happy for him.”
Franks was told Mullen said he would not get in the batter’s box against him.
“That’s because he doesn’t want to strike out,” Franks said. “I’m not super wild. When I was in high school maybe a little bit. I was pretty good actually off the mound. I was surprised. I was pretty accurate with a baseball.”
The real bonus for Franks is that he gets to keep the bonus, the $40,000 for signing with Boston. The payoff does no impact his eligibility in football. Franks said he’s not sure how he’s going to spend the money.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I need to get my car fixed. Someone hit the side two months ago.
“I need to get (my mom) something. I don’t know. I’m a broke college student.”
Mullen said the two true freshmen who were not allowed to enroll in the Summer B semester due to academic deficiencies — wide receivers Arjei Henderson and Dionte Marks — are still working to try and become eligible to join the team at some point this summer.
Both players have indicated on Twitter that they will be added to the roster soon.
“We’ve got to finish paperwork through the NCAA. It has not been filed yet,” Mullen said. “I don’t want to confirm (they will gain eligibility) until they (the NCAA) put their stamp on it.”
Mullen was asked if there’s a chance Marks and Henderson will be joining the team.
“I would think so,” he said.
Offensive lineman Wardrick Wilson, who is from the Bahamas, is waiting on his VISA to be issued before he can report.
“Wardrick Wilson obviously that’s going to be a legal issue going forward,” Mullen said. “We didn’t expect that. I mean, he’s a full qualifier, NCAA qualifier.”
Mullen made his first hole-in-one earlier this summer, knocking in a shot from 173 yards with a 7-iron. He was probably feeling really good about his accomplishment until he told Steve Spurrier about it.
“He said, ‘I’ve had six of them,’ ” Mullen said.
Mullen on Huggins
Mullen was asked about the status of redshirt freshman defensive back John Huggins. There have been rumors on social media that Huggins may be the target of a Title 9 investigation.
“He’s going to class, getting ready for the start of (preseason) practice,” Mullen said.