Now that the spring game is behind them, Florida’s quarterbacks are preparing to move on to the next critical phase.
It’s a three-month window where they will pretty much be on their own to try and grow more comfortable in the offense and attain the consistency that Dan Mullen demands from his quarterbacks.
“It’s very important,” redshirt sophomore Kyle Trask said. “The coaches are going to be out and recruiting and doing their thing. It’s going to be very important for us to keep grinding and getting better every day.”
Over the next three-and-a-half months, the players will have little contact with Mullen and his coaching staff. They will be seeing a lot of strength and conditioning coordinator Nick Savage and a lot of themselves in player-organized workouts.
The summer workouts are usually led by the quarterbacks, who have to make sure everyone shows up and puts in the effort.
“(The next few months) are super critical,” sophomore Feleipe Franks said. “Not only for me, but for every player. We have a whole new offense and the defense as well.
“For me personally, it’s just me being in there every single day to learn what’s going on, what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and especially why we’re doing it.”
“Coach Mullen and (QB) Coach (Brian) Johnson are doing a really good job of helping me get there. We’ve still got a little bit of a ways to go, but at the same time, we’ve got the whole summer.”
Franks and Trask are both coming off of a positive spring, where both made progress.
Trask was the most efficient quarterback in the first scrimmage. Franks was in the second. Then, both had some success moving the offense in the spring game Saturday.
Gaining more consistency is something both will be focusing on over the summer.
“I want to see a lot more out of them moving forward,” Mullen said after Saturday’s game. “I saw some really good things. I saw them miss simple things. It gets into the speed of the decision-making, comfort of the offense.
“There’s no more important position during the summer than for those guys to work on their own, every day, muscle-memory, taking steps, footwork, throwing motion. I don’t care if they’re even throwing to receivers. Everything over and over and over again, so that they’re much better players August 4 than they were today.”
There was no quarterback depth chart this spring and Mullen said there was no separation between Franks and Trask, who shared reps with the No. 1 offense.
The two likely will open camp the same way they ended the spring, pretty much even. But what happens this summer could ultimately lead to one QB separating from the others.
“My mindset is just to continue to get better,” Trask said. “The coaches aren’t going to be around, so we have to take it upon ourselves to get our timing down, keep our head in the playbook and just keep getting better.
“I feel like at times, maybe my footwork is a little rattly in the pocket. So, I really need to work on my footwork and try to stay accurate.”
Franks said he’s also looking forward to putting in the work this summer. But then that’s never been an issue with him, apparently.
“He is taking steps forward,” Mullen said. “The one thing I notice, he works at it. He has football intelligence and he works at it. I think he works at studying the game and trying to understand game situations. Now we’ve got to get him to learn how to manage the game.”
Franks and Trask have been in the offense for just 14 practices and the spring game. Now, they’ll have the whole summer to get more familiar and comfortable in it, and how to go about managing it.
It’s a process the quarterbacks have to go through, and they’re only in the early stages of it, Mullen said.
“These guys are still learning the offense,” Mullen said. “I guess it’s like a sports car. If they gave me a Ferrari to drive right now, I’m probably learning how it works at first. I’m not probably going 180 and trying to let go.
“That’s where we want to get them to. They’ve got to learn how to use it first. And then once they use it, then they can go and have fun and really let it rip out there on the field because they know how they can use the offense.”