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Tuesday, August 09, 2022
<p dir="ltr"><span>Coach Jim McElwain has yet to make clear which of his top three QBs —  Luke Del Rio (left), Malik Zaire (right) and Feleipe Franks — will start.</span></p><p><span> </span></p>

Coach Jim McElwain has yet to make clear which of his top three QBs —  Luke Del Rio (left), Malik Zaire (right) and Feleipe Franks — will start.

 

Malik Zaire worked with Florida’s first-team offense during the team’s open portion of practice on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Luke Del Rio did. And on the day before that, who knows? Because while there was no way to check since practice was closed, it doesn’t seem to matter to coach Jim McElwain who’s taking the first-team reps.

Every day, Zaire, Del Rio or Feleipe Franks take their turn with the first-team offense. And with No. 17 UF’s season opener against Michigan looming Sept. 2, McElwain said he’s fine with that.

“You’re going to see a bunch of them in there playing,” he said Wednesday. “I mean, the three guys have done a really good job.”

When asked if he was concerned about not having a starting quarterback less than two weeks away from facing the No. 11 Wolverines, he said not at all. When asked if the number needs to be reduced to two or to one in the coming weeks, he offered little insight.

“Actually,” he said, “I think the song says one is the loneliest number, right?”

This could be calculated on McElwain’s part. Entering Florida’s spring game, he was adamant that Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask were competing at nearly the same level. As the game got closer, he said one of them was beginning to separate, though he wouldn’t say who and maintained that both would see significant time.

Franks attempted 14 passes with the first-team offense in that game. Trask attempted two. That calls to mind something McElwain said at Florida’s media day on Aug. 2.

“Let’s call it the art of poker,” he said. “Whatever hand you’re given, you figure out how to play that hand. Sometimes you’ve got to bluff.”

Whether he’s bluffing or not, it seems like the answer may not be known until the game. And McElwain isn’t the only one keeping quiet.

“I ain’t got one clue,” receiver Freddie Swain said when asked who’s been the best of the trio.

McElwain appears to feel the same way. He said each has certain strengths, and depending on the situation, each could be called on.

“Will all play? I don’t know yet,” McElwain said. “Will a couple of them play? I don’t know yet.”

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You can follow Ethan Bauer on Twitter @ebaueri, and you can contact him at ebauer@alligator.org.

Coach Jim McElwain has yet to make clear which of his top three QBs —  Luke Del Rio (left), Malik Zaire (right) and Feleipe Franks — will start.

 

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