Getting Closer

Zook says he has thought as much about rotating quarterbacks as he has about naming a starter...

Every practice, the same questions continue to ring through the ears of Florida coach Ron Zook. Which quarterbacks made progress? Which didn't? When will a starter be named?

And every practice, Zook shoots back with the usual answers.

"All four quarterbacks did some good things today," he says. "And all four did some things not so good."

But as the Aug. 30 season opener lingers just over a week away, his answers have started to hint at the coach's game plan.

As for the idea of rotating quarterbacks, Zook said he's thought just as much about the concept as he has about naming a starter.

"We have talked about it," Zook said. "We have given it thought. I'm not going to tell you what we're going to do, but I've given it thought."

Zook continues to claim he is not trying to prolong his decision, but instead he genuinely doesn't know the answers.

"You're unclear because I'm unclear," Zook said. "Why is [a timeline] so important?"

Despite his lack of clarity, it's not as if the coach hasn't given the situation plenty of thought.

"All summer I'm sitting there in my boat thinking about it," Zook said. "I've talked to a lot of people. Is there a right decision? If everything goes right it's a great decision. But what if? That's the whole thing about it. Why does it have to be one guy? [Two guys] has been done in the National Football League. It's been done in college. It's been done in high school."

Should Zook name Chris Leak and Ingle Martin as the top two quarterbacks, which seems most likely at this point, the possibility of a transfer would become much more probable.

"It's something you have to be careful of," Zook said. "I don't want to lose anybody. I hope we don't. They are all very good quarterbacks, good enough to play for the University of Florida."

Because Justin Midgett could redshirt, the most likely transfer candidate would be redshirt freshman Gavin Dickey.

"I'd be disappointed if I wasn't among the top two," Dickey said. "Very disappointed. Right now, I'm not really thinking about that."

SCOUTING REPORT: As a result of San Jose State's early start to its season, the Gators will an opportunity to scout out the Spartans.

Florida's first opponent plays Saturday on ESPN2.

But if Zook had the choices, he'd take the chance to play an early game over having an opponent's early scouting report.

"You make your most progress between the first and second game overall, because you've gone through all the things that happen during the course of a game," Zook said.

"So if I had my druthers, I'd probably rather have played the first game than have a tape of the opponent."

NOT PERMANENT: Max Starks started working at right tackle Wednesday, but Zook said he doesn't expect the move to be permanent. Instead, it allows the line the opportunity to become more versatile.

"It's just to keep him in it," Zook said. "Not that we're going to make the move there, but Max played more snaps than anybody on offense last year. Max is getting some work; some time that he can do that. He played the right side today. We want Tavares to get every rep. He's worked hard. We talked about it last night. If the majority of practice is good we let the seniors go early. They came out and did a nice job."

BACK TO WORK: Offensive tackle Lance Butler, who strained his knee Wednesday, showed up in pads Thursday but practiced light. He wore a brace, and appeared to be limping as he left the field.

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