Who will quarterback the Florida Gators in 2016?

The Florida Gators entered the 2015 season with a quarterback battle between Treon Harris and Will Grier. Saturday news broke that Grier would transfer and Harris’ play down a 4-3 end to the 2015 season doesn’t bode well for his future at Florida.

Where does that leave Florida in 2016?

The Players:

Treon Harris
If Harris remains at Florida he will be a junior on the field next season. Harris completed just 51.9% (111-214) of his pass attempts this season for nine touchdowns and five interceptions. In his two seasons (20 games played) Harris has completed 166-of-325 pass attempts (51%), for 2,549 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Luke Del Rio
Del Rio chose to walk on at Alabama despite holding scholarship offers from Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Colorado State. After one year at Alabama, Del Rio decided to transfer to Oregon State. He was granted immediate eligibility, largely based on his walk-on and redshirt status. Del Rio completed 8-of-18 pass attempts before deciding to leave Oregon State when Mike Riley left Oregon State for Nebraska. Del Rio filed paperwork to the NCAA to be eligible for this season but was denied.

Feleipe Franks
Franks will enroll early at Florida in January and participate in spring workouts. Franks is a U.S. Army All-American who led his high school (Wakulla) to the state championship this season.

Kyle Trask
Trask is also an early enrollee who will be on campus in Gainesville this January. Trask was the backup to D’Eriq King at Manvel High School in Texas. Texas high school football rules restricted Trask from transferring schools.

A third freshman quarterback in the fold?
The Florida Gators will continue to pursue Maryland quarterback commit Dwayne Haskins. The 6-3 passer has been committed to Maryland for some time, but continues to flirt with the Gators. Several of Florida’s recruits have been in contact with Haskins and they are actively helping the Florida staff in trying to sway Haskins away from his home state team.


The Future:

Jim McElwain’s tone when speaking about Treon Harris took a turn following the losses to Florida State and Alabama. It’s clear that McElwain isn’t pleased with the production he’s gotten out of the quarterback position and is ready to move on.

That leaves Del Rio, who will be a redshirt junior when next season begins, and two or three freshmen.

Del Rio has attempted just 18 passes in his career but will be the most experienced quarterback available, assuming Harris is out of the picture.

Trask and Franks are both 6-5 and have strong throwing arms but need work. Mechanically, there are flaws that both quarterbacks need to work through. I believe both would greatly benefit from a redshirt season where they had time to develop, get accustomed to college life and the speed of the game, but the reality is that they may not be afforded the opportunity.

Haskins is slightly ahead of Trask and Franks at this point, but he is not an early enrollee and would be six months behind the other two freshmen.

Del Rio is, for all intents and purposes, a redshirt junior in the eyes of the Gators. He is not the long-term future at Florida, which is why the staff has been relentless on the recruiting trail at the position. Del Rio is, however, the best option for Florida when the 2016 season begins and if he can hold up throughout the season and allow the two freshmen to redshirt, would be a huge help for Florida’s long term success under Jim McElwain.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC


  1. I like the idea Mac recruited Del Rio and CSU, which now means he has three QBs on the roster he wanted. I’m fine with two years with Del Rio if he wins the job. That’s all you can ask for anymore, a two year starter. That’s enough of a future for me.

  2. Who are some graduate QB’s we might take a look at? I love Taysom Hill from BYU. Dude has had terrible luck with injuries but can straight ball when he is on the field. Mangum has that job locked up, it’s worth a try.

  3. Man oh man. Sniping at my man Nick. Pretty tough comments here in the basement by some. Don’t like the quarterback situation , well it is what it is. Smart aleck remarks on our staff? Sounds like somebody really doesn’t follow or really like the GATORS..
    JUST MY OPINIONS .. As an actual fan.

  4. Gators are in trouble if Harris ends up starting again. He’s probably basing his pick of Del Rio on how he looks in practice and a thing called talent. You know what that is right, the thing Harris is missing. Winston and Manziel had “no significant snaps” and they both came in and won the starting jobs and Heismans in there first year. If they have talent and good leadership, they dont need s”significant snaps”. Del Rio Come on guy use your head for something besides putting your hat on.

  5. Nussmeier got him to walk on at Alabama after being committed to Oklahoma State, who was going to give him a scholarship. He left Bama for Oregon State, and then he followed coach Nuss here. He will be getting a scholarship. There was no point in offering him one since he had to sit out a year and that would just have taken one from someone in need of one and deserving. ESPECIALLY SINCE HIS DAD IS A MILLIONAIRE!!!

  6. I hope Franks just comes in and tears it up from the start,wins the starting job and doesn’t need to RS. Then hopefully Harris doesn’t transfer but switches postions to a scat back type of player instead. Plays a little bit of slot reciever, a little bit of RB, and a little wildcat QB. But that’s a far stretch. If he doesn’t start he will probably will transfer. He’s never gonna be a QB in the NFL, so he should just play his last 2 years as an “athlete” and hope he can play well enough for a NFL team to give him a shot.