LEXINGTON, Ky. — The pain was immediate the reality hit like an anvil. Lying on the artificial turf of Kroger Field Feleipe Franks knew his season was over.
The redshirts freshman and embattled starting quarterback of the Florida Gators needed an air cast and a cart to get off the field for the last time in 2018. The Gators’ starting quarterback has grown and become a leader, despite some perceptions of him outside of the program, the outpouring of emotion from his teammates tell the story.
Franks was inconsolable leaving the field, justifiably so. Despite his personal loss he stuck around in the locker room and waited for his teammates. Franks spoke to the team as a whole after the game and told them to rally around each other, not to give up on the season and to cherish every play because it can be taken away in an instant.
Gator Country spoke with Dan Mullen and as many players as possible to get their reactions to Franks’ injury.
“I was with him and told him I love him and that we are there for him. I told him that it will be alright. I think ..it shows what he means to the team. What the team thinks of him as a leader, that’s the type of guy he is. How hard he has worked. It shows a lot about him and it shows the respect that the team has for his leadership and the love that they have for him. It’s a pretty close team. He has to work hard for these things.”
“Sad for him. We just wanted to make sure we told him that we had him. Come out with a win. That’s the main thing, whatever the situation was we were behind him 100%. We were there for him. That was the biggest thing to talk to him and keep his morale up.”
Obviously he’s down from being hurt but he’s all about the team. He just told us, ‘make sure you stay together, don’t take anything for granted. Be ready to play your plays like it’s your last play because you never know when it could happen. He’s definitely devastated but he’s with us 100-percent. He’s still that leader. He’s going to try to do whatever he can to help us.”
“Realizing how he put all his everything into the game, it made us want to go out and play a lot more harder for him. It’s tough and it was sad, the way he went out. But we know he’s gonna bounce back better than ever. Guys are gonna continue to keep him covered and keep his family covered, we’re always gonna keep him in prayer. But anytime you see something like that, that’s always hard. But it just fueled us more to continue to play and finish out the game for him.”
Some of Franks’ teammates and former teammates also reached out to the quarterback on social media.
Rest of the season is dedicated for @18franks love you bro! We got you
— Brett DioGuardi (@BrettDioGuardi) September 15, 2019
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) September 15, 2019
Praying for my brother 13 You strong bro
— C’yontai Lewis (@idunklewis) September 15, 2019
That game and every one on is for you brother @18franks love you family.❤️
— Lucas Krull (@Lucas_Krull_) September 15, 2019