How Feleipe Franks, Luke Del Rio responded to Malik Zaire transfer
New Florida Gators quarterback Malik Zaire said all the right things during media day, as I wrote in today's Tampa Bay Times.
So did UF's other quarterbacks.
I asked redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks if any part of him was frustrated, upset or disappointed when he heard the Gators were bringing in the grad transfer from Notre Dame.
"Absolutely not," Franks said. "Honestly, kit made me a little happy. It's bringing more competition in, so it's going to bring that extra fire in me."
Franks had the most to lose with the addition of Zaire. He left the spring as the favorite to start the Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan.
But he disagrees with the idea that Zaire's presence decreases his odds of being UF's top quarterback this season. He reiterated that added competition will only make him better - and that might put him ahead of Zaire, Luke Del Rio and Kyle Trask.
"Everybody wants that spot," Franks said. "Bringing added competition in there, it really brings (out) a big drive in me."
Del Rio approached the situation with the logic you'd expect from the son of an NFL coach. He's a redshirt junior, and all the other options are freshmen or redshirt freshmen.
"They have to bring some kind of experience - if I was a coach, that's what I'd do," Del Rio said.
So when Del Rio found out that the incoming experience was Zaire, he was pleased. He knew Zaire from their days competing against each other in the Elite 11 competition. Del Rio said he liked the way Zaire approached that, and they occasionally checked in on each other via text.
"I was actually kind of happy..." Del Rio said. "He was one of the guys I was closest with (at Elite 11)."