The two main subjects of the quarterback competition are redshirt freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask. Freshman Kadarius Toney is also on hand having just joined the fray in January after enrolling early from high school. McElwain said some good things about all three guys on Monday, just a few days removed from the Gators’ last scrimmage.
“Both quarterbacks had their moments of really moving the club, and I thought that was good to see, especially down in the red area,” McElwain said of Franks and Trask and their time on the field in the scrimmage. “Thought Feleipe got better down there. Late on one throw, but was able to see it and get it off and get another touchdown pass, which was good to see.”
Toney is a bit of a wild card here. He brings a different dimension to the position and sources at Fightin’ Gators also indicated that he lined up in the scrimmage Friday as a slot receiver as well, further demonstrating his athletic ability. Toney has been a star in terms of making plays with his feet this Spring and Friday was more of the same.
“Kadarius did some things,” McElwain said of Toney in the scrimmage. “He worked with the twos a little bit in there, worked from his package and came up with some explosive runs, and then obviously they packed the box for him, and he made the throw down the field, so that was good to see.
Nobody is expecting McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier to name a starting quarterback for the Fall by the end of Spring. Junior quarterback Luke Del Rio is out this Spring and could return in the Fall and he would be entered in the race. But, figuring out which of the quarterbacks is ahead of the other is a very likely scenario and although we might not hear who that is, the staff would know.
"We should know a lot. I think it's starting to sort itself out, and the natural question is, 'Well, what's sorting itself out?'… You'll find out,” McElwain said.
When pressed on whether there is separation between the quarterbacks, McElwain responded, "Yeah. We're doing good."
He is impressed with the way the two young quarterbacks have played this Spring, but not surprised.
“Yeah, they’ve done a great job, and yet, I kind of expected them to,” he said.
McElwain says that Trask has the ability to stay calm under pressure and that he always stays even keel.
“He hasn't changed a bit,” McElwain said of his Texas quarterback and the way he was when they recruited him. “The guy kept coming to camp and competed against everybody and is doing the same thing. You know, excited about him and what he brings and really the way he, let's just say nothing bothers him. He stays very level and does a great job of studying what we're trying to do."
Friday could be a big day for Franks. A year ago, in the Orange and Blue Debut, Franks got off to a horrible start, throwing three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. He rebounded a bit by mounting a long scoring drive and throwing a touchdown at the end, but a lot of criticism from outside headed Franks way after the start he had in the contest.
McElwain isn’t worried about what Franks does Friday. What he has done throughout the Spring amounts to more in his mind.
"I'm sure he'll be excited to get out there and redo whatever he did a year ago,” McElwain said. “This is a just another piece. It's not the end-all one way or the other. Let's face it, the defense is gonna know the route combinations and the offense is gonna know the coverage shells based on rotations and that kinda stuff. So it's really not trying to trick anybody as much as let's see if we can get our second step on the ground, create some movement, win one-on-ones, those type of things. And in Feleipe's case, make sure he knows what color jersey we're wearing because he kinda threw it to the other ones I think last year."