Sometime around 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, the Florida Gators offense will trot out to the huddle for the first series of the season as they battle Big Ten power Michigan. The man that will be leading that drive is still a mystery, and the college football world, along with the Wolverines, most likely won’t find out who the Gators quarterback is until exactly that moment.
For Florida head coach Jim McElwain, not naming a starter is not some type of ruse to baffle Michigan and their head man Jim Harbaugh.
“We’ve got some guys that have done a really good job,” McElwain said Monday on The Paul Finebaum Show . “And I’m just kind of holding that until we get out there and ready to play. I’ve been happy with all of them.”
So this isn’t a chess match between the two? McElwain joked, “Yeah, I’ve played a lot of chess in my life, so I’m just going to throw a pawn out there and maybe let the knight try and do something, I don’t know.”
As for the three quarterbacks vying for the job – Malik Zaire, Feleipe Franks, and Luke Del Rio –, McElwain said that seeing them compete has been a joy.
“Just seeing the three of them and what they bring, it has been a lot of fun.”
Zaire, a transfer from Notre Dame, seemingly entered fall camp as the favorite to win the job, but his presence has inspired the other two to raise their game.
“First and foremost, with Malik coming in has really elevated the play of the other two. I think that is something that is really good, that competition.”
Del Rio is the returning starter who has “gotten better and knows what we do” according to McElwain, while Franks, a highly-touted 2016 signee that redshirted last season, has made major strides.
“Feleipe has come a long ways since that first year and how he’s progressed. He’s a guy that can really stretch the field with him arm and making good decisions.”
No matter who McElwain ends up choosing, that player will go up against a Michigan defense that should be solid but returns only one starter from a unit that finished tied for No. 1 in total defense last season.
It may not be a chess match for McElwain, but if he picks the right quarterback that helps lead the Gators to a major victory to start the season, it will definitely be a checkmate against Harbaugh.
The post Jim McElwain coy about starting QB decision, refuses chess match with Jim Harbaugh appeared first on SEC Country.
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