TALLAHASSEE/GAINESVILLE, FL (WJHG/WECP) Both the Seminoles and Gators now have their starting quarterbacks in place for Saturdays openers.
Both first year coaches, Taggart at FSU, and Mullen at Florida, have settled on their starting quarterbacks going into the season anyway.
We'll begin in Tallahassee, where Monday morning, coach Taggart began his meeting with the media this way!
"Just want to announce we've decided on our quarterback. Deondre Francois will be out quarterback starting against Virgina Tech. Had a very, very healthy competition going, and it was really good. I thought all our guys got better. As a staff, we decided Deondre was the best for us. So we're gonna go that way."
So Francois, the starter in 16, who suffered a season ending knee injury in the opener last season against Alabama, wins out over sophomore James Blackman and freshman Bailey Hockman.
"I've just watched his body of work" Taggart says of Francois in fall camp "since then and he's done everything we've asked him to do. And more. And just watching him with his teammates. And more than myself just trusting him, I think the entire team trusts him and I think that's important. It's consistency, you know, in every scrimmage we've had he's been real impressive in them, and the same thing in practice."
Meanwhile down in Gainesville, Dan Mullen is going with redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks to lead the Gators on to the field Saturday against Charleston Southern.
Franks played in all 11 games last season, starting 8 times, the Gators posting a 3-5 record in those 8 starts. He threw for just 14-hundred yards with 9 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
He beat out fellow sophomore Kyle Trask and freshman Emory Jones for the starting role this time around.
“We looked at who would give us the best opportunity to win now." Mullen saying Monday afternoon. "Not projecting where they’re going to be or how they’re going to develop or how they’ll grow throughout the years, but right now, we head out on the field, running our offense, who’s going to give us the best opportunity to win.We felt Feleipe and his ability to extend plays, some of his athleticism, right now will give us the best opportunity to win games.”
Mullen added that it was a “pretty close” competition, against Trask and Jones. But Franks had the slight edge over the other two.
“It was the extra little things of the extending the plays, the intangibles, because I think they were pretty even, back and forth, with learning the offense and developing,” Mullen said.
Florida fans hoping Dan Mullen's tutelage and system will help Franks, who seems to have all the physical tools necessary to be a good D-1 quarterback, turn the corner.
Having Jordan Scarlett back running the ball, and receivers like Tyrie Cleveland and transfers Van Jefferson and Trevon Grimes should also help big time. We'll begin to get to those answers starting Saturday.