Film room: the development of Feleipe Franks, Part 3: it starts to come together, but then he takes a turn for the worse

by | Apr 22, 2019 | Gator Football, Uncategorized

Note: this is part three of a four part series detailing Feleipe Franks’ journey as the Gators’ QB. The midsection of the 2018 season brought some continued hope and promise- but nonetheless, his shortcomings were as prominent as ever- and they seemed to be leading to his downfall as the calendar flipped to November. Which version of Feleipe would emerge?

Our four part series of film review sessions of Feleipe Franks rolls on today with part three, which will detail the middle segment of his 2018 season.

To bring new readers up to speed: Part One details the many struggles Franks suffered through in 2017, while Part Two recounts the slight uptick Franks displayed in the first five games of the 2018 season. In order to fully appreciate this piece, it’s critical to fully understand exactly how low of a starting point Franks was coming from, so I do encourage you to read those pieces first.

Anyway: we left off following the Mississippi State win at the end of Part Two, a game that Feleipe Franks really did not impress too much in. Dan Mullen ordered a heavy dose of the ground game and one dagger of a trick play to complement his stifling defense in a 13-6 victory. Franks’ stats were fine, albeit misleading that night; 22-31 for 219 yards, though most of those yards came on slants and flares to routes that were well blocked for, and he also threw a near-fatal pick at midfield. So as the calendar flipped to October, Franks was showing definite and considerable improvements from his disaster of his 2017 season, but it was painfully obvious that he needed to continue his growth if Florida was to continue winning with him as the QB.

Which brings us to the highest-stakes game Florida participated in since Will Grier dominated Mississippi: a showdown with 5th ranked LSU in the Swamp. Let’s skip to late in the first half. Franks has done nothing to this point, when all of a sudden, out of the blue, he lobs a perfect ball to Josh Hammond.

I can’t even nitpick a single thing about this throw, which by the way led to a touchdown pass to a wide open Moral Stephens on the ensuing play. He goes through at least one read before looking for Hammond on the corner route, puts the absolutely ideal amount of touch on this pass, leads Hammond so he catches it in stride and inbounds- it’s literally the perfect throw.

And so was this throw, on the first play of the second half.

Now, this play is not wholly dissimilar to Franks’ bomb to Cleveland against Tennessee on Rocky Top (in Part Two) in that there’s a fairly high degree of risk involved if the defender (Kary Vincent, #5) simply turns his head around, but there’s one key difference. Hammond has a step on his defender diagonally toward the sideline and beyond him, and Franks puts a significant amount of air on this throw, to place it- again- literally perfectly. Also, putting touch on the ball instead of firing it allows Hammond time to get into position to play safety and bat the ball away if his calculation was off by a few inches and Vincent wound up with better position. So while a bit of an “ehhhhhh” decision because it took a perfect throw and bad defending to complete it, Franks made that perfect throw and got that bad defending on top of it so it worked out.

Then there’s the opposite end of that success meter- on the very next play.

Really? We’re back to this again? If Franks floats the ball over Devin White (#40), he has his tight end open on a post route and it’s his second touchdown of the day to Stephens right across the “Gators” font in the end zone. Instead, with pressure in his face, he panics and throws a bullet right in the same zip code as Stephens but not close enough within that zip code for him to have a chance at it and thus it’s picked by Grant Delpit. The ball wasn’t actually that far away from where Stephens was a half second earlier, but by the time Franks puts it there Stephens is already past that point in his route with his momentum going in the inverse direction. Some people seem to think Franks got mixed up on the route, but that’s just as bad for obvious reasons. And this is made all the more head-scratching because Franks had Jordan Scarlett casually leaking out of the backfield on a flare route; place that flare throw well enough and it could be a touchdown.

So on back to back plays, we have Feleipe Franks making an incredible throw and then an incredibly bad throw. That’s what makes this case study so frustrating; he frequently vacillated between being an A level quarterback and an F level quarterback on consecutive plays.

But nevertheless, despite the fact that Franks again completed less than half of his passes on the day (12/27), Florida managed to survive yet again thanks to a brilliant performance by the defense and a running game. And I would be remiss if I didn’t credit Franks for the leadership he displayed by catching a throwback pass from Lucas Krull, as well as running 6 times for 42 yards, because those things count. The point is, though he’s definitely stepped up as a leader of the team and has mixed in some really good signs along with the bad stuff, he’s still not a quarterback that Florida can rely on to win games.

And he validated that right away the following week against Vanderbilt on a slant route aimed at Van Jefferson.

Yes, there’s pressure bearing down on him thanks to a complete lack of blitz pickup, so he doesn’t exactly have time to go through his progressions, but still: here’s another example of him regarding option one as the only option (whereas maybe option two should have been to tuck the ball, push forward and live to see a third and short at worst), throwing it inaccurately and 95 mph and getting it tipped high in the air and intercepted by JoeJuan Williams at the shadow of the goal line. That’s a direct loss of three and possibly seven points because of that.

And later in the game, he did it yet again- only this time without the excuse of pressure in his face.

Time to bring out the old checklist. Failing to go through more than one read? Check. Throwing it with all his might? Check. Throwing it inaccurately? Check. The ball gets popped a mile into the air because of those last two things? Check. Luckily, in this case it didn’t get picked off, but that is due solely to the microphysics involved here. If LaMical Perine’s hand comes up a millisecond later, or from just a degree or two more from underneath, or he just gets a different part of his hand on the ball, the ball’s trajectory could have easily been redirected toward one of the four Vandy defenders in the area. Which, again, is something Franks cannot count on. He threw a ball he should not have, and was frankly lucky that the deflection did not land right in the hands of a Commodore. Here we are in game six of his second year, and he’s still making the exact same mistake that led to his unraveling in 2017.

But Vanderbilt was also the game in which Franks really began to master the timing of the slant route. He was completing them before this day, but he does a little more than just complete this one.

Now this is a winning SEC quarterback play right here. Yes, it’s a slant, which is generally regarded as one of the easier and safer throws most of the time, and yes, it’s against Vanderbilt, which is generally regarded as one of the weaker teams in the SEC and certainly was last year, but it’s not executed adequately; it’s executed perfectly. Franks goes through his progressions, albeit too quickly to let his receivers’ routes take their course, but at least he’s made the defense think by looking at places other than at Van Jefferson’s slant route. He then turns to look at Jefferson, and right as he’s coming out of his break, puts it on him. This one is a bullet, but it has to be in order to ensure that it gets to him. But he throws this ball at just the right millisecond, not leading him into the safety’s buzz saw and giving Jefferson a chance to cut upfield and score on it. Which he does. A second earlier, and it might be picked off before Jefferson can cut, and a second later and he might get Jefferson decapitated. Well done by Franks there.

And on the larger scale, well done by Franks to guide Florida back from a 21-3 deficit. He didn’t do anything remarkable that requires a GIF breakdown in this series (though he did lose a fumble that I’m just going to skim past) but he managed the game after that ugly start, made the safe throws he had to make and quarterbacked the Gators back into and then on top of a game they probably should not have won.

Then came the Georgia game. Somehow, the world was such that Florida had lost to Kentucky for the first time in over three decades’ worth of annual matchups and the Gators controlled their own destiny to a national championship on Halloween weekend. It was, without a doubt, the biggest stage Feleipe Franks had ever played on, which may explain why he aimed for the stars on his first throw of the game- and missed a surefire touchdown.

Nobody would debate that Franks has not demonstrated significant improvement in the interval of time since the 2017 FSU game this game, but since the whole purpose of this series is to talk about Franks in the context of being a national championship caliber quarterback… well, this just isn’t it. Players only get so many chances to make game-changing plays. Here was one for Franks and he flat out blew it. You can say he was overexcited, nervous, or whatever, but the bottom line is that was a touchdown pass and he simply missed it. Florida wouldn’t score on that drive, so there are seven points Franks directly cost his team with the overthrow. Even a mediocre throw, that forced Jefferson to slow up, or lay out for in order to catch, would have resulted in at least a forty yard gain; a championship caliber quarterback manages his emotions well enough to at least complete that throw every single time, and thus at this point last year, Franks… well, we know.

Later in the first quarter, with Florida driving, he makes another critical mistake:

Immediately after pulling the ball from Perine’s belly, Franks looks in one direction, one direction only, throws the ball in that direction, and because the ball is woefully under thrown, the result is predictable; it’s intercepted by Tyrique McGhee. Georgia would cash that mistake in for a field goal and a 13-0 lead. Again, you just can’t do that.

Franks would shake off that gruesome start against the Classic City Canines to bring Florida back into the game, and actually take the lead at one point early in the second half.

This is an iffy decision for most quarterbacks, but ultimately looked to be a solid one because of Franks’ arm talent. Franks looks straight down the middle of the field from the moment he takes the snap and then unloads a frozen rope in the direction of Freddie Swain- and this one is on the money. My only complaint about this throw would be that I sincerely doubt he even noticed the roaming safety Richard LeCount (#2, at about the 19 yard line) flying over from the left hand side. See a pair of replay angles below.

In this first replay angle, notice how LeCounte is just sort of standing there, anticipating where Franks is going and is jumping the route even before he even throws the ball…

…and in the second replay angle, notice just how close LeCounte came to picking it off. So this is a throw where Brian Johnson and Mullen probably told him, “nice bullet, but you throw that ball with one degree of an arc more, one millisecond slower, later or to the left and it very well might be picked off.” It’s a throw that I would objectively give him a favorable grade for, but ensure that he is aware of the nonexistent margin for error of.

But then later in that quarter, he makes the biggest mistake of all.

And that ball security issue I labeled in Part One– the first play I highlighted, before pointing out that it would become an issue later on in the film room series- rears its ugly head at the worst possible moment. Feleipe Franks can’t count on some kind of hero-movie ending, six play goal line stand from his defense to bail him out here, so for his purposes, this is an absolutely devastating mistake. You have to protect the football. Worse yet, here we are a full season and a half after that fumble against Michigan, and he’s still putting the ball on the ground in a situation where that is definitively the worst thing he could do. So now there’s no shield of a “rookie mistake” here, and because I don’t feel it’s beneficial to anyone to hammer him in any further depth for it than I already have, allow me to synopsize it with three final words before moving on: that’s a problem. And it’s one he’ll have to address by demonstrating far better protection of the football than this for a long, long time before he can be  trusted to be that championship-caliber quarterback.

Anyway, Florida lost that game 36-17, and now we’ll conclude Part Three with two quick breakdowns of plays from Missouri, an even uglier game that Florida lost by an even uglier score. I promise, it’ll be quick because I don’t think anybody really wants to revisit that game in too much detail.

Now, I’ll preface this by saying that nobody on the Gators, from the offensive line to the defense, really demonstrated much of an interest in competing that day. So you cannot solely blame Franks for this loss, because Feleipe didn’t surrender 38 points or miss blocks left and right. But “nobody on the Gators” is a statement that very much includes him, as he definitely didn’t help matters. And while it’s admittedly asking a lot of him to rise above his teammates’ sleepwalking, pick up the slack and carry them all to victory, that’s what the championship caliber quarterbacks do.

So, to adhere to my promise of making this quick: this is an example of him panicking with impending pressure, reverting back to his primitive instincts of throwing the ball as hard as he can, and missing a wide open receiver for a touchdown. With just a faint amount of touch on this ball, it’s an easy six points for Moral Stephens.

And with this one: though theoretically possible for Franks to have bought some time with his feet or actually hit this throw to Van Jefferson on the other side of the field, Jordan Scarlett is wide open in the flat with his head turn back toward Franks a quarter of a second after the ball is released. He’s not going to go 94 yards for a touchdown, but it’s a pretty easy, short touch ball that can get several yards to set up a manageable third down if not actually pick up the first down outright. Just another instance of Franks refusing to consider throwing anywhere other than to the first receiver he looked at, and throwing it badly off target to boot.

At this point in time, Franks is trending the wrong direction and Florida fans are fearing the program to be spiraling downward into an abyss on a two game losing streak- both by blowout. That means the next few games can either salvage something from the season, or serve as the catalysts for a continuation of that journey into the abyss. And as for Franks, he was so ineffective against Missouri that Mullen benched him in favor of Kyle Trask, who promptly won fans’ adoration by directing a touchdown drive. So things looked just as bleak for Franks at the conclusion of this game as they did for Florida as a whole.

The following week, the Gators would play host to South Carolina, and things would not look good. How would Franks, in the midst of a multi-game course of regression, respond? And the larger questions: could he save his job, and if so, could he save the Gators’ season?

You know the answer: come back tomorrow for Part Four and see how it went down.

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Four star 2022 DE Francois Nolton commits to Florida

Four star 2022 DE Francois Nolton commits to Florida

With the Gators' 2021 recruiting class all wrapped up, Dan Mullen and his staff have gone to work setting up their 2022 class. https://twitter.com/99_nolton/status/1357739221822418945?s=20 Francois Nolton, a 6'4, 225 lb. four star defensive end from Miami, has...

COVID forces Gator basketball game vs. LSU to be postponed

COVID forces Gator basketball game vs. LSU to be postponed

After an embarrassing home loss to South Carolina two nights ago, the Gator basketball program will have to wait a little longer to get back on the court. Per an SEC press release, Mike White's team is experiencing another COVID outbreak: The Florida at LSU men's...

Gators land former LSU five star TE Arik Gilbert

Gators land former LSU five star TE Arik Gilbert

Dan Mullen remains undefeated in the NCAA transfer portal with the addition of Arik Gilbert. And now, a year after Florida lost unanimous All-American tight end Kyle Pitts to the NFL, the Gators may not miss a beat at that position. Gilbert, a former five star tight...

Way too early 2021 Gator football game-by-game projections

Way too early 2021 Gator football game-by-game projections

With the Florida Gators' 2021 schedule released yesterday, I thought it would be worth taking my first shot at what's become fans' favorite offseason ritual: projecting Florida's record. And in order to have a final record projection, you have to go game by game in...

Florida Gators’ 2021 football schedule revealed

Florida Gators’ 2021 football schedule revealed

When the SEC first pieced together a twelve year football schedule rotation in 2014 that dictated which teams would play who from the other division, the Florida Gators knew that they'd be hosting Alabama as their cross-division opponent in 2021. But now, following...

Gators complete coaching staff with Jules Montinar

Gators complete coaching staff with Jules Montinar

UPDATE: Florida has officially announced Jules Montinar as the newest member of the Gator football staff. https://twitter.com/GatorsFB/status/1353802427313618945?s=20 (Initial story begins below.) With linebackers coach Christian Robinson presumably staying at...

Auburn DL Daquan Newkirk transfers to Florida

Auburn DL Daquan Newkirk transfers to Florida

DaQuan Newkirk is coming home. Daquan Newkirk has decided to return home (or close to it) for his final year of eligibility. And thus, Florida's shaky offseason took a step in the right direction. https://twitter.com/holdthat_2/status/1349757297782829056?s=20 Once a...

Florida LB James Houston to enter transfer portal

Florida LB James Houston to enter transfer portal

Best of luck to James Houston as he searches for a new home. James Houston IV, a junior linebacker from Fort Lauderdale, has told me that he will be entering the transfer portal. Houston was known for making a few of the bigger defensive plays of the last couple of...

Keyontae Johnson placed into medically induced coma

Keyontae Johnson placed into medically induced coma

Keyontae Johnson has been placed into a medically induced coma, according to the USA Today, who spoke with Johnson's grandfather. His grandfather, Larry DeJarnett said in a phone interview that his grandson was transported to Gainesville earlier today after receiving...

Florida vs Tennessee: Film Review – Defense

Florida’s 2020 season has overall been a successful one by most measures. The Gators are 8-1, ranked in the top ten in every major poll and are four wins away from securing the program’s fourth national title. But in order to obtain that national title, there’s a lot...

Several Gators listed as national award semifinalists

Florida's efforts on the field have been rewarded in the sense that the Gators now control their own destiny to SEC and national championships. But for several players, their efforts are being rewarded in more individual manners, too. Four Gators have been listed as...

Rocky Slop: Florida takes down Tennessee to clinch SEC East

The day Dan Mullen was introduced as the Gators’ new head coach, he talked at length about giving relentless effort in all he did to restore the program to a championship level. Last night on Rocky Top, his Gators took a major step toward doing so. Heisman front...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 31-19 win over Tennessee

Florida didn't play especially well, but did more than enough to beat Tennessee and wrap up the SEC East for the first time since 2016. What were the major takeaways from the game? Florida simply does not have a running game Tennessee came into the game with a five...

Photo Gallery from Florida’s 34-10 win over Kentucky

As we anticipate tomorrow's road matchup with Tennessee,  let’s take one more look back at last week’s game against Kentucky. Our podcast host, Dustin Smith, happens to also be a fantastic photographer. He was at the game last Saturday, and got some great photos of...

Florida RB Iverson Clement will transfer

Florida's deep stable of running backs has just gotten a little thinner. Iverson Clement, a junior tailback from Mount Holly, NJ, has decided to transfer. He departs from Florida having carried the ball twelve times for 94 yards. He nearly scored a touchdown against...

Gators make belated Thanksgiving feast out of Wildcats

Florida was missing key pieces on both sides of the ball a week ago in a sluggish 38-17 win over Vanderbilt. The Gators got them both back today, and the result was fairly similar: Florida struggled for a half against a historically inferior divisional opponent,...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 34-10 win over Kentucky

It took awhile for Florida to get itself going, but they eventually did do exactly that and rolled away from Kentucky. What stood out in the victory? A tale of two halves Florida's offense was stuck in reverse for most of the first half, mustering a grand total of...

No. 6 Gators overcome sluggish start to run past Vandy

Florida arrived at Vanderbilt’s small stadium a mere hour and two minutes before kickoff, determined to avoid the cramped quarters in the visitors’ locker room at all costs and intent on spending as little time on the premises as they had to. Then the Gators took the...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 38-17 win over Vanderbilt

It wasn’t pretty, but Florida fought off a tough challenge from Vanderbilt and got out of Nashville with a 38-17 win. What stuck out in the victory? The defense is still a problem. Yes, Florida played better on defense after a miserable first quarter, and sure,...

Photo Gallery from Florida’s 63-35 win over Arkansas

Before we look ahead to Vanderbilt tomorrow, let's take one more look back at last week's game against Arkansas. Our podcast host, Dustin Smith, happens to also be a fantastic photographer. He was at the game last Saturday night, and got some great photos of various...

Trask, Gators run Hogwild in blowout of Arkansas

Trask, Gators run Hogwild in blowout of Arkansas

Feleipe Franks’ dramatic return to the Swamp was the story of the day when his Arkansas Razorbacks faced off against #6 Florida in the Swamp. But it was his long-time understudy, Kyle Trask, who dominated the night. Trask continued his push for a Heisman Trophy by...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 63-35 win over Arkansas

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 63-35 win over Arkansas

Florida earned its most lopsided win of the season over Arkansas, and former quarterback Feleipe Franks, 63-35. What stood out most along the way? Kyle Trask is now the Heisman frontrunner After several years of hyping up various quarterbacks as Heisman Trophy...

A Tribute to Feleipe Franks: I Will Remember You

A Tribute to Feleipe Franks: I Will Remember You

Hello again, Feleipe Franks. It's been about fourteen months since your Gator career ended in a particularly gruesome fashion. Tomorrow, we meet again. Only this time, your job will be to ruin Florida's season, not enhance it, and our job will be to make you...

Florida 44, Georgia 28: Helmet Stickers and Plays of the Game

Florida 44, Georgia 28: Helmet Stickers and Plays of the Game

Florida's euphoric win over Georgia is still sinking in, but it's time to go through the film and look at this game from an academic standpoint. You can rewatch the game here. First order of business: a blanket helmet sticker is awarded to every member of the team for...

Gators kick Georgia out of Cocktail Party

Gators kick Georgia out of Cocktail Party

Throughout Dan Mullen’s short tenure at Florida, Kirby Smart has had Mullen’s number.  And three minutes into their third meeting in Jacksonville, it looked like that would continue. But then Florida flipped the script and turned the game— and the rivalry— on its...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 44-28 win over Georgia

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 44-28 win over Georgia

WE DID IT!!! Yes, at long last, Florida has gotten the Georgia monkey off its back and toppled the Bulldogs to take control of the SEC East. What did we learn along the way? Kyle Trask is officially a Heisman Trophy frontrunner He may not win the award, but he has to...

2021 OL Yousef Mugharbil commits to Florida

2021 OL Yousef Mugharbil commits to Florida

A day before the Gators take on Georgia in the Cocktail Party, Yousef Mugharbil kicked off their weekend the right way. Mugharbil, a consensus four star offensive lineman from Murphy, NC/Murphy HS, has committed to Florida. He also had offers from Penn State, Virginia...

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-17 win over Missouri

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-17 win over Missouri

Florida bounced back from a rough loss to Texas A&M three weeks ago with a statement win against Missouri. What stood out in the process? The defense isn't great, but it's getting better. Even without three starters in the secondary (and without Zachary Carter in...

Gators down three starters in the secondary against Missouri

Gators down three starters in the secondary against Missouri

Florida's defensive backfield- already shaky at full strength- is now going to be decimated tonight against Missouri. Starting cornerback Marco Wilson, as well as safeties Shawn Davis and Donovan Stiner, are all out tonight, according to various reports. The reasons...

For Gators, a new season begins against Missouri

For Gators, a new season begins against Missouri

Three weeks ago, Florida completed its preseason portion of the 2020 schedule with a good deal of promise, but well aware of what it had to work on. One ugly COVID outbreak and three weeks later, and the Gators begin the meat of their schedule- a seven game stretch...

2022 Safety Sam McCall commits to Florida

2022 Safety Sam McCall commits to Florida

Just as things are getting back into full swing for the Gator football team, things are heating up on the recruiting trail, too. Florida has nabbed a commitment from 2022 athlete Sam McCall, a consensus five star recruit from Lakeland, FL/Lake Gibson HS. He chose...

2021 Edge rusher Jeremiah Williams commits to Florida

2021 Edge rusher Jeremiah Williams commits to Florida

Defensive end Jeremiah Williams, a consensus four star prospect out of Birmingham, AL/Ramsay HS, has committed to Florida, giving the Gators yet another dynamic piece for their 2021 recruiting class. Signs were pointing towards Gainesville for the highly touted edge...

Florida-Missouri game postponed to October 31

Florida-Missouri game postponed to October 31

According to multiple sources close to the team, the Florida-Missouri game scheduled to take place on October 24th will now be pushed back one week, to Halloween on October 31st. In All Kinds of Weather first reported yesterday that the game was extremely likely to be...

Florida-LSU game postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Florida-LSU game postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Multiple sources have confirmed that the Florida-LSU game scheduled for this Saturday is going to be postponed. An announcement could come as early as Wednesday afternoon. The news comes less than 24 hours after an outbreak of COVID-19 within the Gators' football...

COVID-19 outbreak places Florida-LSU game in jeopardy

After just three games, the novel coronavirus that has wreaked havoc on pretty much everything in 2020 appears to have found its way into the Gator football program. And predictably, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown up a blockade in front of the season. A few days...

Texas A&M forces Florida to address defensive issues

Texas A&M forces Florida to address defensive issues

Throughout the game on Saturday in College Station, Florida seemed to be one step ahead of Texas A&M. Until they weren't. And then it was too late to do anything about it as the Florida program trudged off the field following a familiar fate- a loss to Jimbo...

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M

Florida suffered its first loss of the season against Texas A&M today, an ugly 41-38 setback that’s far more irritating than damaging— but one that exposed a great deal of Gator shortcomings. What stood out in particular? (Spoiler alert: a lot of them are...

Imperfect Gators outlast South Carolina to start 2-0

Imperfect Gators outlast South Carolina to start 2-0

The various struggles the Florida Gators have endured on defense didn’t matter too much in their first two games against Mississippi and South Carolina. They might in their next game. And they almost certainly will later in the season. Kyle Trask tossed four touchdown...

Clemson RB Demarkcus Bowman to transfer to Florida

Clemson RB Demarkcus Bowman to transfer to Florida

The Lakeland-to-Gainesville pipeline has continued, albeit via a detour. Demarkcus Bowman has chosen to transfer to Florida. Mere days after announcing his decision to enter the transfer portal, Bowman told Gators Territory of his decision. Bowman, a former five star...

Trask’s career day propels Florida past Mississippi

Trask’s career day propels Florida past Mississippi

Dan Mullen returned to the place he once called “The School Up North” in his new set of colors for the first time. And he provided that school up north with a first class education in just how lethal his new offense is. Kyle Trask went wild, completing 30 of his 42...

Five takeaways from Florida’s 51-35 win at Ole Miss

Five takeaways from Florida’s 51-35 win at Ole Miss

The Gators opened their 2020 season with a somewhat convincing 51-35 victory over Ole Miss in Oxford. In doing so, Florida knotted the all time series score against the Rebels at twelve wins apiece. Here are my five initial takeaways from the game: Kyle Trask is...

2020 Gator football position preview: secondary

2020 Gator football position preview: secondary

Our position previews of the 2020 Gator football team conclude today with a look at the defensive backfield. Can the unit colloquially known as "DBU" move forward without CJ Henderson? Previously previewing: quarterbacks | running backs | wide receivers | tight ends |...

2020 Gator football position previews: linebackers

2020 Gator football position previews: linebackers

The penultimate piece of our position preview segment takes us to the Florida linebackers- a unit that was very good in 2019, but will look a bit different in 2020. Let's get right into it. Previously previewing: quarterbacks | running backs | wide receivers | tight...

2020 Gator football position preview: defensive line

2020 Gator football position preview: defensive line

Having completed our offensive position previews, today we move to the defensive side of the ball. And as is the case everywhere in the SEC, it starts up front. Previously previewing: quarterbacks | running backs | wide receivers | tight ends | offensive line The...

2020 Gator football position preview: offensive line

2020 Gator football position preview: offensive line

Fresh off our preview of Florida's tight ends, our 2020 Gator football position preview rolls on with a look at perhaps the key to the entire team: the offensive line. Last year, was so-so a year ago in pass protection, but really let the team down in the ground game....

2020 Gator football position preview: tight ends

2020 Gator football position preview: tight ends

With kickoff just around the corner, our position by position previews of the 2020 Gator football team are about to start hitting the presses rapid-fire. Having already published our previews on Florida's quarterback, running back and wide receiver rooms, the first of...

2020 Gator football position preview: wide receivers

2020 Gator football position preview: wide receivers

Having previously broken down Florida's quarterbacks and running backs, our position preview segment moves along today with a look at Florida's receivers. It's a unit that lost four of its top playmakers from 2019 (Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain, Josh Hammond and Tyrie...

2020 Gator football position preview: running backs

2020 Gator football position preview: running backs

After a bit longer of a gap between position breakdowns than I intended, the series rolls on today with a look at Florida's running backs. What do the Gators have in stock in their RB room this year? The leader: Dameon Pierce The leading returning rusher from 2019 has...

Snapshot: the 2020 Florida-FSU chart

Snapshot: the 2020 Florida-FSU chart

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct honor and privilege to present to you, the 2020 Florida-FSU chart. Many of you already know what I'm referring too. For those who don't, "The Chart" is an annual In All Kinds Of Weather tradition that compares the Florida Gators...

2020 Gator football position preview: quarterbacks

2020 Gator football position preview: quarterbacks

With kickoff at long last in sight, it's time to break down the 2020 Gator football roster, position by position. Who's back, who's going to start, how good are they, and so on. Man, it's great to finally be talking about that again. So with that said, let's start...

Gators learn four of ten kickoff times for 2020 season

Gators learn four of ten kickoff times for 2020 season

Three of Florida's first four games of the 2020 season carry the potential to be broilers. The Gators' season opener against Mississippi in Oxford on September 26th will kick off at noon, and air on ESPN. The following week, Florida will return home and again play in...

#GreatestGatorEver Sweet 16 bracket breakdown

#GreatestGatorEver Sweet 16 bracket breakdown

Having announced the tentative plans for the schedule of the remainder of the #GreatestGatorEver fan voting tournament (update; the tournament resumes tomorrow on twitter and Instagram stories), it's time to refresh our memories regarding the final sixteen contestants...

#GreatestGatorEver tournament schedule update

#GreatestGatorEver tournament schedule update

For those who have been keeping track of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament, the excitement level has reached yet another all time high, as it does with the completion of each round. For those who haven't, it's not too late to be introduced to the event. Here's (a very...

Gators’ 2020 football schedule unveiled

Gators’ 2020 football schedule unveiled

At long last, the Florida Gators 2020 football schedule has been released. Here it is, in full. Florida Gators 2020 football schedule Week Date Opponent 1 9/26 @ Mississippi 2 10/3 S CAROLINA 3 10/10 @ Texas A&M 4 10/17 LSU 5 10/24 MISSOURI 6 --- BYE 7 11/7...

Four key Gators sit out first fall practice

Four key Gators sit out first fall practice

For the time being, it looks as though the SEC is going to give its college football season a go in 2020. But at least for today's inaugural practice, the Florida Gators football team launched its fall season down four critical pieces. As first reported by Sports...

Florida Gators 2021 Recruiting Big Board update: mid-August

Florida Gators 2021 Recruiting Big Board update: mid-August

The Gators' recruiting recent endeavors can be summed up with a synopsis not unlike a bunch of little kids swinging away at a dangling piñata. After much time and effort hacking at it to no avail, one well-placed swing and the fruits of their labor suddenly began...

DT Desmond Watson commits to Florida

DT Desmond Watson commits to Florida

Florida had been suffering through a bit of a lull on the recruiting trail earlier this month, a period that was low lighted by Clinton Burton flipping his commitment from Florida to Boston College. But if the past couple of weeks didn't vault Florida out of that rut,...

Gators flip OL recruit Jake Slaughter from FSU

After a bit of a lull on the recruiting trail, Florida has suddenly picked it up over the course of the last week. Last Saturday, safety Donovan McMillon committed; less than 48 hours later, receiver Marcus Burke followed suit to rev the engine a little bit on a 2021...

Top Jacksonville WR Marcus Burke commits to Florida

Top Jacksonville WR Marcus Burke commits to Florida

The Gators' 2021 recruiting class got a boost Saturday with the addition of Donovan McMillon. Today, Dan Mullen & Co. built on that momentum with the addition of receiver Marcus Burke. https://twitter.com/CERTIFIED_MB4/status/1285296008747003904?s=20 Burke, a...

Safety Donovan McMillon commits to Florida

Safety Donovan McMillon commits to Florida

Clinton Burton out, Donovan McMillon in. McMillon, a borderline three/four star safety from McMurray, PA/Peters Township High School, has committed to the Gators. The move provides Florida fans with a bit of relief following the decommitment of fellow defensive back...

#GreatestGatorEver tournament set to heat up

#GreatestGatorEver tournament set to heat up

Welcome to the part of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament where things really start to get interesting. For those who are just catching wind of the tournament, a quick explanation of how it works. Created with the goal of deciding the greatest Florida Gator athlete of...

Gators announce six new positive COVID tests within football program

UF confirms 11 positive COVID-19 cases since April

The University of Florida has acknowledged that eleven different positive tests for COVID-19 have taken place since April. The news comes a week and a half after the announcement that no returning Gator football player had tested positive. From Florida senior...

2021 CB Jordan Young commits to Florida

2021 CB Jordan Young commits to Florida

It may be one of the slowest times for sports in recent memory, but the inverse has been the case in the world of Gator football recruiting. 2021 cornerback Jordan Young (Tampa, FL/Gaither) has committed to Florida. A consensus three star prospect with offers from...

Kamar Wilcoxson re-commits to Florida for a third time

Kamar Wilcoxson re-commits to Florida for a third time

Kamar Wilcoxson is back on the Gators' commitment list- and he says this time, it's for good. https://twitter.com/KamarWilcoxson4/status/1274100941369806850?s=20 I think at this point, most Gator fans are familiar with who he is, and if you're not, I'll explain why I...

Safety Dakota Mitchell commits to Florida

Safety Dakota Mitchell commits to Florida

It probably got lost in the news of yesterday’s news that the Florida band will stop cueing up the “Gator bait” chant due to the term’s racist history, but while Florida football lost a ritual, it gained a commit. Safety Dakota Mitchell (Winter Park, FL/Winter Park)...

Gator football gets the green light to proceed with practice

Gator football gets the green light to proceed with practice

One thing that COVID-19 has proven is that it possesses an uncanny ability to screw up all different types of plans, and there's no concrete evidence that it's finished doing so. That's something that has to be kept in mind for the duration of this article, as well as...

Gator baseball pitcher Tommy Mace to return in 2021

Gator baseball pitcher Tommy Mace to return in 2021

Tommy Mace has just pulled perhaps the biggest offseason surprise in the world of Florida Gator athletics. Mace, the ace of the Gator baseball pitching staff, has decided to return to Gainesville for another season after going undrafted in the MLB Draft. Per...

Former Florida WR Reche Caldwell murdered outside his house

Former Florida WR Reche Caldwell murdered outside his house

Photo credit: Sports Illustrated Ex-Florida wide receiver Reche Caldwell has died from injuries sustained in a shooting right outside his home in Tampa, according to multiple different reports. The story was first broken by TMZ, and confirmed by ESPN's Adam Schefter....

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 15 Regional

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 15 Regional

The sixteenth and final Regional of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament gets underway later tonight. Thus, our Regional previews conclude with a look at the 15 Regional: The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1)...

Lorenzo Lingard granted immediate eligibility for Florida

Lorenzo Lingard granted immediate eligibility for Florida

Happy birthday, Lorenzo Lingard. Florida's newest running back addition has announced on twitter that his waiver to be able to play in 2020 has been granted: https://twitter.com/d1champ99/status/1266464118950723584?s=20 Florida's running back room wasn't bad to begin...

#GreatestGatorEver tournament set to heat up

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 2

The penultimate Regional of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament is just about set to get underway. As is customary by now, let's acquaint ourselves with the sixteen player field a little more first. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 10 Regional

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 10 Regional

Round one of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament is drawing to a close. Today, we take a look at the third-to-last of the sixteen Regional brackets to be played: the 10 Regional. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.)...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 7 Regional

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 7 Regional

We are officially three quarters of the way through of the first round of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament. Tomorrow morning, we begin the first round of the fourth quarter of the bracket- the 7 Regional. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order...

Class of 2021 RB/WR Charles Montgomery commits to Florida

Class of 2021 RB/WR Charles Montgomery commits to Florida

Charles Montgomery will be suiting up in orange and blue on Saturdays. On an instagram live feed, Montgomery announced that he was choosing Florida over Maryland. A consensus four star prospect out of Seffner, FL/Armwood, Montgomery also had offers from Alabama,...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 14

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 14

Time to complete the upper right hand corner of the #GreatestGatorEver bracket with the 14 Regional. Y'all know the drill by now; let's get to it. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Kelly Barnhill (softball,...

Florida unveils plan to bring athletes back to campus

Florida unveils plan to bring athletes back to campus

Photo credit: University of Florida COVID-19 has pretty much shut down college athletics since it made its way over to the United States a couple of months ago. Now, the first steps are being taken to see their resumption. Earlier today, SEC school presidents have...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 3

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 3

Up next in our #GreatestGatorEver tournament is the 3 Regional. Before voting gets underway, let's take a closer look at the field. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Al Horford (basketball, C/F-...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 11

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 11

Eight Regionals down, one underway, and seven more to go in Round One of our #GreatestGatorEver tournament. Next up is the 11 Regional. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Jack Youngblood (football, DE/DT/K-...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 6

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 6

We're halfway through the opening round of our summer long #GreatestGatorEver tournament. Now, we shift to the right side of the bracket, and start at the top with the 6 Regional, which gets underway tomorrow morning. The bracket Regional participants (Players are...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 12

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 12

The eighth and final Regional on the left half of the 256 player #GreatestGatorEver tournament is set to get started tonight. Another way of putting that: after tonight's 12 Regional voting, we will officially be halfway done with the opening round of this summer long...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 5

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 5

Our #GreatestGatorEver tournament rolls on today with Round one of the 5 Regional. As was the case for the previous Regionals and will be for all ensuing Regionals, let's take this opportunity to refresh our memories regarding what, exactly, the sixteen players in...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 13

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 13

With the 4 Regional of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament currently winding down, it's time to preview the Regional it's paired with in the Sweet 16: Regional #13. The 13 Regional bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.)...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 4

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 4

Our #GreatestGatorEver bracket is set to continue tomorrow with the opening round of the 4 Regional. Let's get to know that 4 Regional: The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Emmitt Smith (football, RB-...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 9

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 9

Our #GreatestGatorEver bracket is set to continue later today with the opening round of the 9 Regional. With voting in the 8 Regional closing soon, let's familiarize ourselves with said 9 Regional: The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 8

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 8

Our #GreatestGatorEver tournament is off and running. Voting for the opening round of the 1 Regional has been completed; the 16 Regional is underway and will wrap up this afternoon. Shortly after its conclusion, the 8 Regional will get underway. So, let's get to know...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 16

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 16

Yesterday, voting began in our #GreatestGatorEver bracket in the 1 Regional. Today, voting will continue with the 16 Regional, but before the polls open, let's preview the field and refresh our memories on the players' accomplishments. The bracket Regional...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 1

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 1

Voting for the #GreatestGatorEver bracket begins this afternoon. In the name of eliminating potential recentism in the voting, I thought I'd set the stage by previewing each Regional before the voting gets underway. Today, we'll take a look at Regional 1, which of...

2021 guard Kowacie Reeves commits to Florida

2021 guard Kowacie Reeves commits to Florida

Mike White's 2021 recruiting class is off to a great start. Kowacie Reeves (Macon, GA) has committed to Florida. Reeves, a highly sought after four star, also earned offers from North Carolina, Texas, Auburn, Georgia and Seton Hall, among others. This commitment might...

Introducing the Greatest Gator Ever bracket

Introducing the Greatest Gator Ever bracket

Part of what has helped fans make it through a long, frustrating quarantine is the abundance of fan polls on social media. In particular, 64-team, March Madness themed brackets that allow fans to vote on the winner of each matchup in each round have captured a lot of...

Michigan F Colin Castleton transferring to Florida

Michigan F Colin Castleton transferring to Florida

Colin Castleton is coming home, and Florida is adding some more frontcourt depth for the future- potentially even next season. Castleton, who spent the last two seasons at Michigan, will be transferring closer to home and joining Mike White's Gator basketball squad....

Recapping the Gators’ weekend in the 2020 NFL Draft

Recapping the Gators’ weekend in the 2020 NFL Draft

The 2020 NFL Draft has just concluded, and once again, the Florida Gators were very well represented. Below is a list of all the selections from Florida. Click on the player names for further analysis on what they bring to their new teams. Florida Gators in the 2020...

Tebow, Spikes, James inducted into UF Hall of Fame

Tebow, Spikes, James inducted into UF Hall of Fame

Three members of the Florida Gators' 2008 football team- universally regarded as one of the best in college football history- are finally getting the ultimate recognition they deserve- spots in the UF Hall of Fame. Explosive kick/return man Brandon James posted a...

Scottie Lewis to return for sophomore year

Scottie Lewis to return for sophomore year

Florida’s basketball team got a sort-of-but-not-really-surprising boost today, as shooting guard Scottie Lewis announced that he will be coming back for his sophomore season. Lewis, a ridiculously athletic kid from southern New Jersey, arrived in Gainesville last fall...

The “Kyle Trask Emory Jones” debate: why not both?

The “Kyle Trask Emory Jones” debate: why not both?

The "Kyle Trask Emory Jones" debate is in full swing. Yes, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that has, among other things, lengthened college sports fans' offseason, the fanbase-wide argument regarding who should be the starter at the most important position of...

Coronavirus abruptly ends 2019-20 NCAA athletic season

Coronavirus abruptly ends 2019-20 NCAA athletic season

Photo credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images UPDATE 5:10pm: although it feels wholly logical to assume that college baseball and softball are over for 2020, the language in the two released statements- from the SEC and NCAA, and which you can read below- left one pair of...

TE Nick Elksnis commits to Florida

TE Nick Elksnis commits to Florida

Tight end Nick Elksnis (Jacksonville, FL/Episcopal) has announced his decision to be a Gator, thus netting Florida its first commitment of its Junior Day weekend. In doing so, Elksnis effectively flips from Penn State, from which he decommitted last week....

2020 Florida Gators’ Junior Day visitors list

2020 Florida Gators’ Junior Day visitors list

The Gators' second Junior Day event in Gainesville is upon us, and it's important to keep an eye on because more often than not, Florida uses it to add members to its list of commits. This time around, the chances of the Gators doing so are increased appreciably-...

For Gator basketball, time is running out to figure things out

For Gator basketball, time is running out to figure things out

For much of Saturday's game against Tennessee, Florida couldn’t score. When they finally remembered how to score, they couldn’t come up with the critical stops. In other words, it was a typical basketball game for Mike White’s Gators on the heels of an impressive win....

Four star TE Gage Wilcox commits to Florida

Four star TE Gage Wilcox commits to Florida

Congratulations to Gage Wilcox. You, sir, have just become the first commit for Tim Brewster. Wilcox, a four star tight end from Tampa's Jefferson High School in the Class of 2021, committed on an Instagram Live video, as captured by twitter user @CurtisK421....

Florida takes step forward by throttling LSU

Florida takes step forward by throttling LSU

Photo credit: Florida Gators Maybe this is another mirage, the latest peak in a dizzying array of sine waves for Mike White’s Gator basketball team. Or maybe, after we all erroneously thought this team had turned the corner several times before, this is the game that...