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Gators name Feleipe Franks starting quarterback

Redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks, shown in the spring game, will make his first start in a pressure-filled opener against No. 11 Michigan.

MONICA HERNDON | Times

Redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks, shown in the spring game, will make his first start in a pressure-filled opener against No. 11 Michigan.

Two days after saying he wouldn't name a starting quarterback, Florida coach Jim McElwain reversed course.

McElwain announced Wednesday that redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks will start for the No. 17 Gators in Saturday's season opener against No. 11 Michigan.

"You know what? He deserves it," McElwain said. "He's done a really good job — not to say the other guys didn't."

The 6-foot-5, 227-pound Crawfordville native entered fall camp with two advantages. The four-star recruit has the strongest arm and higher upside than Luke Del Rio and Malik Zaire. He also participated in all of spring practice; Del Rio was sidelined because of offseason surgeries on both shoulders, and Zaire didn't join UF as a graduate transfer from Notre Dame until the summer.

McElwain wouldn't say whether multiple quarterbacks will play. Franks will be UF's 11th different starting quarterback since Tim Tebow left for the 2010 NFL draft.

Franks' only notable college appearances have been in spring exhibitions, but McElwain didn't seem concerned about Franks making his first start in a top-20 matchup at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium.

"That kind of shows what you're made of …" McElwain said. "He'll be ready to go."

ALLEN, HOOSIERS FACE OHIO STATE: Tom Allen, who has multiple ties to the Tampa Bay area, opens his first full season as Indiana's coach at 8 tonight (ESPN) when No. 2 Ohio State visits. He coached IU's final game last season after being promoted from defensive coordinator to replace Kevin Wilson, who resigned. Wilson, who hired Allen away from USF in 2016, is now Ohio State's offensive coordinator. "An unreal set of circumstances," said Allen, whose son Thomas is a freshman linebacker at IU after starring at Plant. Allen was defensive coordinator at Armwood (1995-96) and head coach at now-defunct Temple Heights Christian (1992-94).

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Gators name Feleipe Franks starting quarterback 08/30/17 [Last modified: Thursday, August 31, 2017 8:56am]
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