Injured former starting quarterback Feleipe Franks is out of a cast and into a walking boot, but is still facing a lengthy recovery from a dislocated/fractured ankle sustained against Kentucky, Florida coach Dan Mullen said Monday.
“He’s out of the cast and on crutches and in the walking boot,” Mullen said. “It’s going to be a while for him. It would be fortunate if we get him back for spring practice with the type of injury he had. That’s not always one that is an exact date, from dealing with some of those in the past. It would be good if we could get him back for spring practice, but I don’t know if that’s a possibility or not.”
Mullen said he has not discussed with the quarterbacks — Franks, Kyle Trask and Emory Jones — what the competition will be like at the position when Franks eventually returns.
“I’m just trying to get us through this week and get a win this week so we haven’t even thought about that or addressed that,” Mullen said. “Our focus is on this game. I think those are things you address when you get a little better idea of what’s going to happen. We’ll do that in December and January.”
Dean did not quit
There was a rumor circulating before last Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt that sophomore Trey Dean, unhappy playing the star position in the secondary, left the team Friday, but was talked back into returning by the coaches.
Mullen dismissed the rumor, saying Dean had not left the team.
“No,” he said. “He’s dealing with some stuff, some personal stuff, as well. I think a lot of that weighs on him. These guys are young guys, and there’s lots of pressure put on them. And they put a lot of pressure on themselves. It’s one of those things of just making sure his focus is where it needs to be to continue to improve and to continue to gain confidence and go play.”
Dean did not start Saturday’s game, but came in during the first half and was back playing cornerback, the position where he started nine games last season in place of the injured Marco Wilson.
Mullen said Dean could see more playing time at cornerback the rest of the season.
“We’d like to (see him there more often),” Mullen said. “A lot is trying to get his confidence back, get him going, get him to a high level again. He played outside last year and we won 10 games and a New Year’s Six bowl game.
“We’re trying to get him back into the groove of getting that confidence, so we’re trying to put him there where he had confidence last season.”
Zuniga, Heggie update
Starting defensive end Jabari Zuniga (ankle) and starting offensive guard Brett Heggie (headaches) have a chance to return this week after sitting out the Vanderbilt game.
“Talked to Zuniga, we’re hoping he’s healthy this week, good to go,” Mullen said. “We held him out last week, hopefully he’s good to go this week. (Heggie) ended up coming in with headaches during the week. And so he didn’t play and we’d expect him back this week. He wasn’t on the report as being out this week, so they expect him to be able to go this week.”
Safety Brad Stewart, who injured his left knee in the Vandy game, also is expected to be ready for Saturday’s game against Missouri.
Greenard, Diabate honored
Defensive end Jonathan Greenard was named SEC defensive player of the week, while outside linebacker Mohamoud Diabate was named co-freshman of the week by the league for their performances in the 56-0 win over Vanderbilt.
Diabate, a true freshman, had three sacks for 27 yards in losses. His sack/strip in the third quarter was scooped up by Greenard and returned 80 yards for a touchdown. It was the Gators’ longest return since Quincy Wilson returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown against Missouri in 2016. Greenard also had three tackles against the Commodores.