Gators still have room for another signal caller

The Gators got an early bonus at quarterback when freshman Jake Allen graduated early from high school and showed up on campus this week. That makes four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, but Florida head coach Jim McElwain says there is room for one more.

The big name rolling around at the moment is Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire. He has yet to make a public decision on where he will transfer, but Florida is one of his choices at the moment. McElwain didn’t mention him by name, but says they want another quarterback to be a part and that bringing one into the mix will only help.

“The best guy is going to play, whoever’s ready,” he said. “And in that case we’re still short from our number that we want on scholarship, anyway. So we’ve definitely got room at that position, as we do at the tight end spot, for example, as we do at the Nickel spot as far as your roster and where you apply your scholarships.”

Zaire would be a dual threat quarterback, something that would be pretty new the offense, but something they are looking to add as a wrinkle.

“Kadarius (Toney) is probably one of those as well,” he said of the freshman that showed up in January and starred in the spring game at the position. “At this time I think we can adjust based on what we need to do.”

With McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier both coaching quarterbacks at times, the Gators have a practice routine that will keep all of them busy so that they all get plenty of reps as they switch through different drills during the practice sessions.  

“It’s a bonus as to kind of the way we practice, with the two and three-spot drills we have going on, where there aren’t a lot of guys standing around,” he said. “They’ll still be getting reps and not just getting mental reps.”

This summer they will have to be on their own for most of the work, but he expects the older guys to take Allen under their wing and all of them to work together to get better.

“The big thing there is obviously the time that they spend together just playing catch out there, routes on air, and the one-on-ones with the DBs that they do on their own,” he said. “There will be plenty of that. Kyle (Trask) is still a little tender on that scope or whatever the heck he had. It’s nothing major. He’s going to be ready to go. That will force Jake to probably get in and do some things with those guys on their own a whole lot earlier.”

And then junior Luke Del Rio will work himself into the routine later in the summer and into the fall as he heals from his various injuries and surgeries.

“I know he’s going through a lot of the rehab shoulder things that you do in the training room and the physical therapist and that kind of stuff,” McElwain said unsure of a real timetable. “The actual hard-core lifting, he hasn’t done yet. But we won’t rush it.”


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