It’s down season in college athletics, as fans everywhere anxiously turn their attention to the upcoming college football season that’s now just two months away. With SEC Media Days just around the corner next week, the new season of college football comes closer each day.
For the Florida Gators, it’s been an offseason of anticipation as the Gators head into training camp. With the Dan Mullen era set to officially begin in just under two months, it will be a critical camp as the Gators look to prove any doubters wrong this upcoming fall. Armchair takes a look at some of the Gators biggest storylines to keep an eye out for entering training camp and beyond:
It is Florida, so you guessed it, Quarterback battle
Another year of training camp comes, so does another quarterback battle to see who the signal caller in The Swamp will be for the upcoming season. This time with Mullen around, Gator fans are hopeful the renowned quarterback guru can find his guy for his first year in Gainesville.
Feliepe Franks and Kyle Trask enter familiar waters, as the two will compete once again in training camp for the starting spot. However this time, the redshirt sophomores will have to hold off true freshmen Emory Jones, the 4-star, dual-threat quarterback.
Franks will likely enter camp as the No.1 guy due to being the only one who has taken a snap at the collegiate level. All three got looks in the spring game, but Mullen didn’t see enough from one to name them the starter heading into camp, which should make for a highly competitive battle.
A QB battle is no new thing in Gainesville, as seemly every year for the last 9 seasons has had its questions at the position. This year will be no different, especially with a very even competition on paper. Franks will look to show that his game has improved and that he is capable of feeding off the big plays the Gators were able to see from him last year. As for Trask and Jones, they will hope that minus their lack of in-game experience, one of them is capable of running the show in The Swamp this fall.
Eligibility of game-changing offense talents
Aside from watching the QB battle unfold, Gator fans will closely be watching the eligibility of wide receivers Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson, who both will file hardship waivers after transferring to Florida. Grimes transferred from Ohio State due to family issues, while Jefferson left Ole Miss after NCAA sanctions.
Currently, the two are ineligible, but the status is likely to get changed in the Gators benefit. So far, every player that left Ole Miss and has filed a hardship waiver has been ruled eligible at their new schools. That’s good news for the Gators on Jefferson’s front. As for Grimes, it is believed his waiver will be viewed the same as Jefferson’s.
The eligibility of these two is crucial for the Gators and makes them a much better team on offense. The two both possess game-changing and big play ability. Grimes was once a 5-star recruit always looked as a promising prospect, where Jefferson has played meaningful SEC football and has produced solid numbers.
Granted, if the two are cleared, a big question still remains as to who is the guy getting them the football going to be. However, with those two on the field, it can make matters easier for whoever the Gators signal caller will be. Adding Grimes and Jefferson adds to a deep Florida receiving that could put the SEC on notice.
Emergence of a leader
On a team with a new coach, having leaders in the locker room is instrumental. The Gators will hope to see a few players step up in camp as leaders for the upcoming season.
Some that stand out, are the veteran members of the Gators that have been through it all. DL Cece Jefferson came back for his senior year, and will likely play a huge role for the Gator D. Jefferson will be representing the Gators at SEC Media Days, so that shows what Mullen things of his senior leader.
#SECMD18 Lineup = 💯
With sending those three to media days, Mullen sees them as guys his team will be able to rely on to lead his team in the locker room.