It took a full year but Florida Gators head football coach Jim McElwain and company finally landed a highly touted quarterback prospect when Crawfordville (FL) Wakulla four star quarterback Feleipe Franks announced his commitment via Twitter Sunday evening.
Coach Mac has been looking far and wide for a top quarterback prospect since taking over the Florida program barely more than one year ago.
He and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier have beaten a path through a number of states and prep programs in their search but had largely been unsuccessful.
When it became apparent they were going to need to flip a committed prospect, they decided their fortune lie a couple hours north and west in Crawfordville where the strong-armed Franks was finishing up an All-American prep career as the nation’s top ranked dual threat quarterback.
For his part, however, Franks had been committed to LSU for a couple of years. Despite that fact, the staff felt he had all the physical tools they were looking for and he was likely their best chance at flipping a top committed QB prospect.
So they began to press working quietly with his family, building a relationship, selling the program, and convincing them of the opportunity presented at UF on and off the football field.
After a couple visits to Gator home games and with the turmoil taking place in Baton Rouge surrounding Les Miles future serving as a backdrop, Franks decommitted from the Tigers last week.
On Saturday night, he certainly saw opportunity unlike at any other school. The Gators managed to save their worst offensive performance, at least in terms of quarterback play, for their last game.
And with another highly rated QB prospect in attendance, one the Gators staff tried hard to land previously, perhaps he felt a sense of urgency to make it official and snag his spot on the “McEltrain” as so many love to say on Twitter.
What are the Gators getting?
Franks is a big (6-5 220), strong-armed quarterback who is still very raw at the position.
Unlike many top QB prospects, he hasn’t had the benefit of professional tutoring and has languished in a largely run oriented attack in high school. He’s not a polished passer and will have a steep learning curve once he gets on campus.
But he’ll have two of the top quarterback tutors in the country in Mac and Nuss. And, you can’t teach size and arm strength. At 6-5 or 6-6 depending upon which site you’re looking at, he’s the tallest Gator QB commit in two decades.
He also had one of the strongest arms at the Elite 11 competition last summer where he opened more than a few eyes with his skill set and coachability.
And don’t be fooled by the “dual threat” label. He’s certainly got wheels but that moniker was given mostly due to the type of offense he runs in high school.
He’ll be a pocket passer at Florida for sure.
His commitment was the third of the day for the Gators and is number 26 overall for the 2015 class.