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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)
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: 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: 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.

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


  1. BRONTE WITTPENN   |   Times
Florida State Seminoles defensive back Asante Samuel Jr. (26) deflects a pass to Florida Gators tight end C'yontai Lewis (80) in the first quarter at Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State University in Tallahassee on Saturday, November 24, 2018.  "BRONTE WITTPENN  | TIMES"
    The SEC Network will broadcast the annual rivalry meeting.
  2. Florida State Seminoles running back Cam Akers (3) runs the ball down the field in the second quarter against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State University in Tallahassee on Saturday, November 24, 2018. BRONTE WITTPENN  | TIMES  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES
    How healthy will Cam Akers be? What about Jabari Zuniga?
  3. Alabama sive lineman Alex Leatherwood (70) checks on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) after he was injured in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Alabama won 38-7. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) ROGELIO V. SOLIS  |  AP
    The Florida Gators moved back into Matt Baker’s top 10 this week.
  4. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) is carted off the field after getting injured in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. ROGELIO V. SOLIS  |  AP
    The junior quarterback already was on the mend from surgery four weeks ago for a high ankle sprain.
  5. Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) is pulled down by Missouri defensive back Christian Holmes after catching a pass during the second half in Columbia, Mo. Florida won 23-6. JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP
    The Gators, who led just 6-3 after the second quarter, find more of a rhythm offensively in the second half.
  6. A Florida Gator fans yells during the first half of the Nov. 2 game against Georgia in Jacksonville. The Gators travel to Columbia, Mo. for a noon Saturday game against Missouri. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Here are our picks for this week’s top college football games, including Florida-Missouri, USF-Cincinnati and Florida State-Alabama State.
  7. Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck leads him team on the field prior to an Oct. 26 game against Maryland in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 52-10. STACY BENGS  |  AP
    The last time Minnesota started 9-0 was 1904. Another big event that year involved Cy Young.
  8. Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks poses for a photo with Reyce Ramsey, 9, one of the fans who sent him a get-well card. SCOTT RAMSEY  |  Special to the Times
    When the Florida Gators’ quarterback got hurt at Kentucky, cards came from a 9-year-old in Kissimmee and a retiree in Oldsmar.
  9. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) celebrates after scoring a touchdown on a 15-yard pass reception during the second half against Vanderbilt on Nov. 9 in Gainesville. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    The Florida Gators still have a lot to play for, even with a sleepy game in cold Columbia.
  10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves kneels in the end zone after the Seattle Seahawks defeated his team in overtime in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer) JOHN FROSCHAUER  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: It’s a mailbag episode, with answers on Jameis Winston’s future, Lavonte David’s season, Mike Evans’ plight, Kevin Cash’s third-place finish and Charlie Strong’s job...