As you may have heard by now, one of the top quarterbacks in the nation committed to the Gators yesterday. The words “one of the top quarterbacks in the nation” are certain to spawn some cheers from Gator fans by themselves, but what is it that earns Emory Jones that label?
Well for starters, he’s a mobile QB. That right there makes him an upgrade over Matt Corral, and probably at least partly why Dan Mullen dumped Corral and went all in for Jones’ services. Again though, Jones brings more to the table than that label suggests.
Jones’ raw athletic ability may not be off the charts, but it’s certainly at the higher end of those charts. Jones stands 6’4 and 210 lbs and has been clocked at 4.66 in the 40, though at times he looks a lot faster than that when I’m straight line foot races. He won’t beat former Gator running back and Olympic track silver medalist Jeff Demps in a sprint, but he’s more than fast enough to command a spread offense and force opponents to defend the extra position. To boot, he’s elusive and difficult to bring down in space.
But don’t be fooled by the dual threat categorization as him being more of a threat on the ground than through the air as is generally assumed about those with that “DT” tag. Jones’ best trait is his arm, which dwarfs that of incumbent Feleipe Franks not only in terms of accuracy but in pure strength. Jones is capable of flinging a football up to 65 yards in the air with pinpoint accuracy, and can throw a ball harder and faster than any Gator QB in my lifetime (I’m 23 years old). That high velocity on his passes will come in handy when throwing to a receiver via a quickly closing window.
And on top of all that, he’s smart. He makes good decisions with the ball under pressure, knows when to just eat the ball and take a sack and when to throw it away.
There’s a reason why Ohio State was so thrill d to land him, and why Alabama and FSU pushed hard for him. But when his recruitment was all said and done, he chose to play for Florida. And when his playing career is all said and done, Florida fans may remember that decision more fondly than those of most others.♦