2015 position breakdowns: QB


This is the first in a 10-part series looking at the positional needs and early targets for Florida football in the 2015 recruiting class.

The Gators currently have 19 scholarships available excluding walk-ons. With potential juniors leaving early and inevitable attrition, UF will likely sign 28-30 prospects next year.

Here’s a breakdown of the quarterback position:

Deondre Francois has landed offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and Tennessee since mid-January. (Photo by the Orlando Sentinel)

Returning players: Jeff Driskel, Will Grier, Treon Harris, Skyler Mornhinweg
Verbal commits: None
Top targets: Deondre Francois, Torrance Gibson, Dwayne Lawson
Others offered: Kelly Bryant, Kyle Murray, Jarrett Stidham
The skinny: With Driskel coming back as well as two highly-regarded underclassmen, quarterback is not a huge need for UF. Moreover, the Gators probably won’t be able to attract an elite prospect because of those returning players in 2015. Mornhinweg transferring seems like only a matter of time due to Florida’s new spread offense, so Will Muschamp needs to sign a QB in this class.

Gibson is his top target but appears to be a long shot. At this time, Francois (Orlando Olympia) and Lawson (Tampa Hillsborough) are the ones to watch out for. Florida, Ohio State, Tennessee and UCF are the early leaders for the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Lawson, while the recruitment of Francois (6-1, 190) is shaping up to be an in-state battle with UF, UM and FSU.

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  1. I think Will inherited an offense with notable gaps left behind by the previous regime, and those deficiencies were apparent in Addazio and Meyer’s wrap up year. However, Will got us into a pedestrian offense and underwhelming results in recruiting. Right now, though, with the shift to a spread and the addition of Roper, everything opens up. Somebody’s going to have a really good year at QB, probably Jeff, and one of those prospects will want to get on board.

  2. You would think quarterback would not be a need, but the Gators haven’t had a good quarterback since Tebow left. I have no idea why anyone thinks it’s a given that somebody’s “going to have a really good year at QB”. There is no difference in the optimism over the new coordinator than when Weiss and Pease came in. I have no confidence that Driskel will ever improve. sometimes it’s better to accept your losses when you make a bad investment and move on. I know it’s hard to give up hope on a great prospect, but like the Jacksonville Jaguars with Blaine Gabbert, you have to admit your mistake and move on. Is UF going to invest another couple of years on Driskel and sink to the level of Tennessee after Fulmer was fired? We’ve seen redshirt freshmen perform spectacularly at quarterback, maybe it’s time to end the Driskel experiment and throw one of the other QB’s in, They couldn’t be any worse than Driskel.

  3. If Driskel can be coached up by the new offensive guru, maybe his brain and decision making can catch up to his physical talents making him the talent the coaching staff thought he was when he arrived at Florida. Only time will tell and the spring game, if held, might give us some indication.

  4. Some people on here are gonna be real surprised (and probably disappointed which is a sad testament to these so called Gator fans) when Jeff comes out and has a great season! I find it hilarious that these people are so easy to forget the season he had in 12 before getting injured before the season got good and started in 13. He was a big playmaker on us going 11-2. His stats weren’t sky high, but his play was still great. He gave us what we needed when we needed it: whether we needed him to run it like vs Vandy, or whether we needed him to pass like at UT and FSU, or even if we just needed him to hand the ball to Gilly like vs LSU (no I’m not trying to give him credit for what Gilly did. Just saying he was willing to do whatever it took to win whether that was through him or through someone else). Here’s a stat for you guys. Since 2012 the Gators have gone 11-3 when Driskel started (not counting 13 UT). Without him we’ve gone a whopping 2-7 without him. Have fun trying to hate on that you haters.

  5. if driskel plays like he did before he got hurt then qb is a need depending on if the new guys with all the stars next to their name live up to the hype
    – Shariff
    The simple merry-go-round of thoughts in your mind do not translate to written English whatsoever. FAIL.

  6. I agree, I have very little confidence in Driskel. Let’s face it, last year he was an upper-classman and during those first few games he was still making the same poor decisions he made as a freshman. The only good thing is he’s now in an offense where he can run and make quick reads, so maybe that can hide some of his shortcomings. At the end of the day, he is what he is, an average at best QB.

  7. All starts up front. Maybe our line will keep Jeff upright this year instead of having 2 seconds to throw the dang ball. Spread will aim towards his strengths and Summers will be a huge help. Stay away injury bug!

  8. Snow, you are right about redshirt freshman QB’s being capable of having big years. Especially considering the last two Heisman winners have been redshirt freshman. That is still the exception and not the rule. That being said, assuming Mornhinweg is beaten out by the two highly touted QB’s they both are still TRUE FRESHMAN, not redshirt freshman. That is a huge difference, especially at the QB position.

  9. I still have yet to see 1 person on here give a valid reason, fact, stat, whatever proving Jeff can’t be good next year. Because they can’t find one. Haha. Just shut up haters and watch Jeff prove you wrong

  10. I, too, expect Jeff to have a great year. He has something now that he didn’t have over the past few years – coaching. No one can argue Jeff’s physical abilities. All he needs is to be coached up mentally. You can’t make a QB watch tape and think they will improve. They need to be put in situations, in practice, where they have to react, quickly.

  11. I think Driskel will improve with the move to the spread, the real question is will Summers have the line improved. The O line improves Driskel and the offense improves. If not put Grier or whoever back there and will still have bad results. and I realize freshman QBs can have success but 9/10 times they are redshirt freshman like Winston not true freshman like Grier and Harris. Grier needs a year to bulk up and learn the offense, he has said that would be ideal and his father who is a highschool FB coach said the same thing.

  12. Look at FSU again, Winstons talents far succeed EJ Manuels but did they bench him in 2012? No. Experience trumps talent every time at QB UNLESS Driskel just falls off and starts playing worse than he ever has and for atleast 2 games before he would get pulled.

  13. Junior. Son I could say the same for you people saying he’s gonna be terrible next year. Like I said I’ve yet to see 1 person give actual proof as to why he can’t be good. I can say he will be great because I have evidence and reasoning to back it up. The fact that we went 11-2 with Driskel, he’s one of the best runners at QB in the league, he’s very accurate, he’s shown flashes the poise and playmaking ability great QBs need, and Roper’s proven ability to develop QBs into pro caliber play makers (ie Eli Manning) all make me believe he’ll be great next year. I may be wrong but at least I’ve got some data to back me up. As soon as you get some actual meaningful data to back up why he can’t be successful then you’re doing more crystal balling than I ever have.

  14. by That_UAT_Guy: you sure have a selective memory, In 2012 we won in spite of Driskol, we only won games because of great Defense led by guys that play on sunday now. Why dont u just “shutup” instead of telling others to. They have the right to their opinions! If U cant take their opinions then maybe U need to go somewhere else!

  15. That’s interesting day. Still not 1 piece of evidence or state or anything as to why Jeff can’t be good. Can’t think of anything? Thought not. Heck you don’t even know enough about him to even know how to spell DriskEL. Nice try though. Come back and try again when you can bring some real data, evidence, reasoning, stat, ANYTHING proving he can’t be great next year. I’ll wait. 12-3 with him. 3-7 without.