GAINESVILLE — The quarterback battle has been one of the most intriguing spring storylines for the Gators, but coach Jim McElwain wasn’t overly impressed with how the quarterbacks played in Florida’s second spring scrimmage Friday.
“Quarterbacks, eh, just OK. I mean not great, not bad, just kind of keep working on the consistency piece there,” McElwain said Monday.
McElwain has said there’s been no separation between the four, and he’s liked how they’ve progressed whether it’s meeting with each other and trying to learn the playbook or even their practice habits.
The scrimmage could’ve been a chance for one of them to separate themselves from the rest of the group. It seems as though, it didn’t happen.
“I think we took some steps back,” McElwain said. “I’m not so sure they weren’t pressing a little bit, trying to maybe create some things that weren’t there. My expectation at that position is held to a pretty high standard. But all four guys had their moments.”
When he was asked how close the quarterback competition is between Luke Del Rio, Austin Appleby, Kyle Trask and Feleipe Franks, McElwain gave a simple and short answer.
“We’ll get there,” he said.
Gators searching for more explosive plays: While the quarterbacks were just OK during Friday’s scrimmage, McElwain was pleased with other parts of his team.
He mentioned the defensive line did a great job of finishing plays and complimented the group’s energy and effort.
The offense did have some highlight plays and McElwain said there was only one three-and-out. There were explosive plays from running back Mark Thompson — who tight ends coach Greg Nord said broke a 60-70 yard run in the scrimmage — tight end DeAndre Goolsby and running backs Jordan Scarlett and Jordan Cronkrite.
With wide receiver Antonio Callaway away from the team dealing with off-field problems, generating explosive plays is something the offense is searching for.
However, McElwain said the offense is still searching for more playmakers.
“Nowhere where you want to be,” McElwain said of getting more explosive plays. “And yet we made some at some critical times and yet that’s one of those things that can really turn games. … It makes such a difference in games. We’ve just got to get more of those players.”
Spring game format not set yet: Florida’s annual spring game is Friday at 7 p.m., but the format for the game isn’t set yet.
McElwain said injuries will play a big part in the decision of having a traditional spring game. Offensive lineman Brandon Sandifer won’t be a go for the game since he’ll have minor surgery on his leg, keeping him out for the rest of the spring.
Fellow offensive lineman David Sharpe was held out of Friday’s scrimmage, while wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood isn’t 100 percent yet, even though he participated in the scrimmage.
“We’re still kind of seeing where we’re going to be. It will be football. Fans will enjoy it,” McElwain said. “I think there are a lot of great things going on around it, around the event itself Friday night.”