2017 Florida football position preview: A look at the quarterbacks – SECcountry.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The story of the summer around Florida football has once again been the quarterback battle.
It looked like redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks had the edge on winning the job after a strong spring camp, but the addition of Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire added another layer to Jim McElwain’s quarterback room heading into fall camp. McElwain has not named a starting quarterback yet and probably won’t until closer to the season opener against Michigan on Sept. 2.
Whoever wins the job will be the 10th quarterback to start a game for the Florida Gators since Tim Tebow’s final year in 2009 and the fifth in three years under McElwain. Whoever wins the job will be responsible for leading a Florida offense that ranked last in the SEC and 116th nationally out of 128 teams in total yards in 2016. And whoever wins the job will have to win it from his teammates and prove he is capable of handling the starting duties.
“For the first time, our room is really good,” McElwain said last week at the 2017 SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. “We’ve got talent. We’ve got guys that are going to be able to compete against each other, learn from each other, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Here is a closer look at Florida’s quarterbacks heading into fall camp:
Graduate transfer Malik Zaire
Malik Zaire looks to be the frontrunner for the starting job, although nothing is set in stone. The 6-foot, 225-pound quarterback has experience playing at the college level and showed spurts of potential at Notre Dame — notably in the Music City Bowl win over LSU to close out the 2014 season, and the 2015 season opener against Texas (313 passing yards, 3 touchdowns). Zaire is also a mobile quarterback,