Gators FNL Primer: The Quarterbacks

The Gators are low in numbers at the most important position on the roster. Friday night could go a long way in figuring out the future at the quarterback position.

Florida has two returning quarterbacks from a year ago, a senior transfer that will be gone after the 2015 season, and one other transfer that may or may not be on scholarship for the next few years. With two and possibly three on roster, they have to fill the void at the position.

Friday Night Lights will provide Jim McElwain and the Gator staff a chance to work out four arms and probably more that can have an impact on the future of Florida football. Here are the four biig names we have for now.

Jake Allen

We will start with the guy that is already committed. Allen will be just a junior in high school in the 2015 season. But as a Gator commitment he is one of the biggest recruiters already for both his own class (2017) and the current 2016 class. He’s only played six games of high school football but has double digit offers and threw enough for the Florida staff for them to want to go ahead and offer and get him locked down. Allen will be a real force in South Florida with his recruiting ability.

Here is his Scout Bio playing analysis:

“Allen is a quarterback who quietly leads. He works hard, he wants to be the best, and he is one you can build a team around. Has played mostly out of the shotgun, so he is very comfortable getting the ball deep and more times than not, he knows where he is going with the ball quickly. He makes good decisions. His release is a strength. He’s very compact and quick… a pure pocket-passer who has a great feel for the game inside the pocket and has good accuracy.”

Xavier Gaines

The Lake Wales 4-star quarterback will be trying to show off his arm for the Florida staff Friday night. With the Gators not having a 2016 commitment yet, Gaines could go a long way in helping himself and possibly filling the spot with a very good night. He will have a ton of god receivers to throw to. The word on the street is that Gaines is very interested in the Gators.

Although he may be more of an athlete type quarterback than what the current staff would normally look for, his arm will be the thing he is judged by Friday.

Here is his Scout Bio playing analysis:

“Gaines hit the recruiting as a freshmen where he flashed all the tools to one day be among the state's best. He has progressed nicely and is an ideal fit in a more wide open offense where both his passing and running ability would be on full display. Can struggle with consistency, but when he is on it is hard to find anything not to like. Can make all the throws with his plus arm and does show touch when needed.”

Tylin Oden

“Oden just popped up this week as far as visiting and is currently committed to Louisville. Another athletic quarterback Oden just like the rest of the guys in the 2016 class will have a chance to prove himself live and in-person with the staff.

Here is what Scout National Analyst Chad Simmons has to say about Oden:

“He is a long, tall, and rangy quarterback who is built a lot like a wide receiver. He has a lot of natural ability, especially when the play breaks down - that could be when he is at his best. He is raw when talking mechanics, but he has a lot of tools to like.”

Jack West

West actually camped at Florida a year ago June. The previous staff really liked him and although he has never started in a high school football game, his team has had enough blowouts that he has performed in that he has several big time offers already. No offer from the Gators yet, but he is a prospect that fits the mold they are looking for.

He’s got three full years of high school left, but his ability is beyond his years. With others offering him already, a strong showing will likely draw an offer as well.

Here is how West describes his own play:

“I would classify myself as a pocket passer, but a pocket passer with the ability to escape when necessary. I’m not going to say I’m a dual-threat guy, looking to run every play like some guys,” he said. “I like to drop back, read defensed, throw it in there, know when to put zip on the football and throw it over the top. I can pick up on anything very quickly; I can pick up on coverages and blitzes. My arm is one of my strengths, as well; I can make any throw on the field.”

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