With Malik Zaire injury, Florida’s QB depth now worse than it was in 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. — During his 4-8 season in 2013, Will Muschamp suffered through Florida’s most helpless quarterback situation in decades.

Standing on the opposing sideline Saturday, South Carolina’s second-year coach saw the Gators’ QB depth chart become worse than his ever did at UF.

Graduate transfer Malik Zaire — making his second start of the season — sustained an injury to his left knee in Florida’s 28-20 loss to the Gamecocks.

With Zaire sidelined, Feleipe Franks is now the only healthy scholarship quarterback on the roster.

“Dang,” Franks said when a reporter informed him in the post-game press conference. “I didn’t even think about that.”

Luke Del Rio is done for the season (shoulder) and freshman quarterbacks Jake Allen (back) and Kyle Trask (foot) are both out with injuries. If Franks goes down, things will get weird for the Gators behind center.

“We got some good players, like Nick Sproles. Walk-on guy, but good quarterback,” Franks said. “He’ll be there to back me up.”

Florida’s QB situation hasn’t been this bad since 2013, when Jeff Driskel (leg) and Tyler Murphy (shoulder) both suffered season-ending injuries.

Redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg and true freshman Max Staver were the only scholarship quarterbacks for the final three weeks of the season — which ended with a seven-game losing streak.

Interim coach Randy Shannon said Florida receiver Dre Massey has already taken some QB reps in practice, and true freshman Kadarius Toney can also play the position.

“We’ve got some walk-ons on the deal and Dre Massey, believe it or not, played some quarterback in high school and he’s done some wildcat,” Shannon said. “We worked him at quarterback last week.”

Here’s a look back at Florida’s QB depth over the last eight years:


  1. John Brantley — Started all 13 games, but shared snaps with two other quarterbacks
  2. Trey Burton — Made 11 starts in 13 games played, seeing action at QB throughout the season
  3. Jordan Reed — Appeared in 12 games with three starts at tight end, but played QB late in the year
  4. Tyler Murphy — Redshirted as a true freshman


  1. John Brantley — Made 11 starts and missed two games with an ankle injury
  2. Jeff Driskel — Saw action in five games, but missed the chance to start at LSU with an ankle injury
  3. Jacob Brissett — Started two games after injuries to Brantley and Driskel
  4. Tyler Murphy — Appeared in two games as a reserve


  1. Jeff Driskel — Made 12 starts and missed the Jacksonville State game due to an ankle injury
  2. Jacoby Brissett — Played in five games and started twice, but transferred after the season
  3. Tyler Murphy — Dressed for all 13 games as the third-string QB
  4. Skyler Mornhinweg — Redshirted as a true freshman


  1. Jeff Driskel — Started the first three games before suffering a season-ending fracture in his leg
  2. Tyler Murphy — Played in nine games before missing the final three due to a shoulder injury
  3. Skyler Mornhinweg — Started the final three games of the season, going 0-3
  4. Max Staver — Redshirted as a true freshman


  1. Jeff Driskel — Started the first five games before getting benched, leading to his transfer
  2. Treon Harris — Replaced Driskel at Tennessee and started the final six games of the season
  3. Skyler Mornhinweg — Appeared in one game against Eastern Kentucy
  4. Will Grier — Redshirted as a true freshman


  1. Treon Harris  Made nine starts in 12 games played and was suspended against Tennessee
  2. Will Grier — Played in six games and started five before his one-year suspension for PEDs
  3. Josh Grady — Became the backup QB to Harris after Grier’s suspension and appeared in eight games
  4. Luke Del Rio — Sat out via NCAA transfer rules


  1. Austin Appleby — Finished the year with 4-3 record and was the first graduate transfer to start at QB in school history
  2. Luke Del Rio — Opened the season as Florida’s starting quarterback, but only played in six games due to a myriad of injuries
  3. Feleipe Franks — Redshirted as a true freshman
  4. Kyle Trask — Redshirted as a true freshman


  1. Feleipe Franks — Nine games played this season with six starts
  2. Malik Zaire — Out with knee injury (TBD)
  3. Luke Del Rio — Out for the season with shoulder injury
  4. Kyle Trask — Out with broken foot since Week 1
  5. Jake Allen — Redshirting as a true freshman due to back injury

The post With Malik Zaire injury, Florida’s QB depth now worse than it was in 2013 appeared first on SEC Country.

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