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Emory Jones: ’I’m really trying to find my place on the team’

The Florida Gators’ quarterback said his current role is to be the next guy up behind Feleipe Franks.
Quarterback Emory Jones (14) carries during a drill at Florida Gators spring football practice on March 16, 2018, at Sanders Practice Fields in Gainesville, Fla. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Quarterback Emory Jones (14) carries during a drill at Florida Gators spring football practice on March 16, 2018, at Sanders Practice Fields in Gainesville, Fla. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Published Jul. 26

GAINESVILLE — No one has said it directly yet, but the Florida quarterback competition coach Dan Mullen insisted was real and open in the spring seems to have been decided.

Feleipe Franks was one of three players the Gators sent to SEC media days. Teams don’t bring their backup quarterbacks to events like that. Franks is carrying himself with a new degree of confidence and seems like an upgraded leader than he was last year as a redshirt sophomore.

Related: RELATED: Florida Gators’ Feleipe Franks is already an MLB draftee. What about NFL?

Which means that blue-chip redshirt freshman Emory Jones will almost certainly find himself on the bench in the Aug. 24 opener against Miami.

“I’m really trying to find my place on the team,” Jones said Thursday during UF’s media day.

And what might that place on the team be?

“I’d say being the next guy up right now,” Jones said. “If anything happens, I’m ready to step on the field. I feel like these guys trust me. It’s going to be fun to see what happens.”

It will be, because it’s always fascinating to see what happens at that position. Mullen pointed out on media day that some quarterbacks from Jones’ 2018 recruiting class have already transferred (including one at a certain SEC East rival, although Mullen didn’t mention that specifically).

Related: RELATED: Five things we’ve learned about the NCAA transfer portal

Jones, however, doesn’t seem to have one foot in the transfer portal. He knows where he stands, but he also knows how things could change during camp or during the season.

“That’s just what it is right now,” Jones said. “I’m coming to compete every day, still…It’s a long camp. You never know what can happen. I’m just ready for that time, whenever that time comes.”

Even if Franks remains entrenched as the starter, that doesn’t mean Jones won’t have a role on the field this season. His athleticism and running ability adds a different dimension to the offense. The Gators used him in a specialty package against Georgia and Michigan. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar specialty package for Jones this season.

By seeing the field in those high-profile games, Jones already has some experience in pressure-packed environments that will help him grow.

“I talked to Coach Mullen; he said his reasoning was so I can step on any stage right now and be prepared, be ready,” Jones said. “I’ll never be afraid or anything like that. I’ll be prepared for whatever platform I’m on.”

Whenever he gets that opportunity.

Related: KEEP READING: We ranked every 2019 college football game involving Florida teams


  1. Florida coach Dan Mullen watches his team take the field for pregame warmups before facing Georgia at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville on Nov. 2. The recruiting class so far for the Gators gives him plenty of reasons to be giddy. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    With the early signing period looming, UF is recruiting at a championship level.
  2. Assistant Attorney General Brian Benzkowski announces charges against ten former National Football League (NFL) players who are accused of defrauding an NFL health care program, at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. [CLIFF OWEN  |  AP]
    Former Jefferson High star and former Florida Gator, Donald “Reche” Caldwell is among two others who could be charged.
  3. LSU players celebrate after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Atlanta. LSU won 37-10. [JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP]
    “Members of Congress care about college sports. They recognize how important it is to American society."
  4. Running back DeeJay Dallas (13) and Miami will spend bowl season in Shreveport, La., for the Independence Bowl. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    Starting Dec. 20, there is almost a full month of couch potato fun ahead if you love college football.
  5. Florida coach Dan Mullen has led the Gators to consecutive New Year's Six bowl appearances. [JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP]
    This will be UF’s first Orange appearance since Steve Spurrier’s final game
  6. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates after the Southeastern Conference championship against Georgia on in Atlanta. LSU won 37-10. [JOHN AMIS  |  AP]
    LSU slides up to No. 1 in the final rankings of the season.
  7. Florida guard Ques Glover tries to drive on Butler forward Bryce Golden during the first half in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. [MICHAEL CONROY  |  AP]
    UF sees its four-game winning streak come to an end on the road.
  8. Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin celebrates his team's final touchdown in its victory over UAB in the Conference USA championship game on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Boca Raton. [MIKE STOCKER  |  AP]
    After leading the Owls to victory in the Conference USA title game on Saturday, the coach announces he’s leaving for the Rebels.
  9. Florida Gators defensive back CJ Henderson wags his finger after breaking up a pass during a game against Miami in August at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Henderson is forgoing his senior season, entering the NFL draft and skipping the team’s bowl game. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Henderson’s elite speed could help his draft stock. His interview skills could be another story.
  10. In this 2007 file photo, coach Billy Donovan cuts down the net after Florida defeated South Carolina to win at least a share of the SEC regular-season championship. [BRIAN CASSELLA  |  St. Petersburg Times]
    The formal introduction will take place on Feb. 15.