Last season was supposed to be the breakout year for Jeff Driskel. Instead, he was tackled while rolling out of the pocket against Tennessee and suffered the leg fracture that forced him to miss the rest of the season. In nine quarters of football to start the 2013 season, Driskel completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 447 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also had 38 rushing yards and one touchdown on the ground.
The honor might come as a surprise to some, but if Driskel reaches the potential the Florida coaches see in him, it makes sense. The new offense under first-year coordinator Kurt Roper is a good fit for Driskel, allowing him to get outside the pocket and use his athleticism and speed in the open field to make the offense difficult to prepare for.
Health will be the most important part of the offense. The Gators can’t handle the injuries they dealt with last season, especially at the quarterback position.
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron won the award last season. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow won it in 2007 and 2008, one of top players to ever win the award multiple times. Danny Wuerffel won it in 1996. Florida is tied for sixth with three Maxwell Award winners.