GAINESVILLE — The question about his team's most prominent position was asked directly and indirectly. It was nuanced and framed in myriad fashions.
Jim McElwain, quarterback in a previous life, sidestepped all of it at his Monday news conference.
Five days before the No. 17 Gators face No. 11 Michigan in arguably their biggest season opener ever, he's simply not saying who will start behind center.
"The quarterback situation, we have a plan that's in place," McElwain said. "I'm not going to tell you what it is, so there's no reason to ask, but we're excited about that. We'll leave that for them to guess as well."
The answer was in partial response to the Wolverines, who still haven't even released a legitimate roster As if to add intrigue, McElwain jokingly suggested (at least we think he was joking) the battle for the right to take the first snap may extend to four guys.
Don't be totally floored if Luke Del Rio, Feleipe Franks and Malik Zaire all remained sidelined the first play.
"I'm going to let you in on a hint: We're going to open up in wildcat with (freshman) Kadarius Toney there, all right?" McElwain said. "There you go. There's your starter."
Robinson out: McElwain confirmed WR James Robinson, cited recently with LB Ventrell Miller for marijuana possession, is suspended for Saturday's contest. Miller is among seven Gators players who already had been suspended for the game. Robinson, a four-star recruit from Lakeland, was previously cited on a complaint of marijuana possession during his official visit to Ohio State on the weekend before signing day.
"Well, it's always disappointing. That's part of growing up …" McElwain said. "Yet, like I said, I'm not giving up on him."
Injury updates: McElwain said DB C.J. McWilliams (hamstring) remains out while TE Kemore Gamble (foot) is questionable.
He called LB Kylan Johnson (hamstring) "iffy," but may have been erring on the side of caution.
"He's a guy we need to have," McElwain said. "But he went through practice on Friday, some of the individual stuff and some of the walk-through stuff. We're looking to see how that goes today but we're expecting him to be able to play."
Seminole x2: Two of the local receivers on No. 3 Florida State's depth chart against No. 1 Alabama were obvious: Wharton High alumnus Auden Tate and former five-star recruit George Campbell (East Lake High). But Tampa Catholic product Justin Motlow was on there, too, backing up Nyqwan Murray. The 5-foot-11, 183-pound redshirt junior was on the scout team last year and contributed twice on special teams in 2015. Motlow is also believed to be the first member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida to play for FSU's Seminoles.
Thomas back: FSU's defense was set to get a boost with the likely return of LB Matthew Thomas. The former five-star recruit had been out with an illness and other unspecified issues, but coach Jimbo Fisher said he expected Thomas back at practice Monday. Thomas started 12 games last season and led the team with 77 tackles.
Audibles: "He obviously felt that they needed to do some things to become relevant. That was his choice in doing it. It's probably not something I'd do. That's all right." — McElwain, on Jim Harbaugh's attempts to make Michigan relevant again
"Been fun to watch him play. Ain't going to be fun this weekend. That guy's too daggum good." — FSU coach Jimbo Fisher on Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick