Following all of the drama of last year’s quarterback controversy, might Jeff Driskel be only spending one more year on the Gainesville campus? Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports makes some very valid points that could have fans pondering whether or not Driskel could leave after this season if he has a big year:
Driskel is a guy I definitely think is capable of leading Florida to an SEC title in the next two seasons … assuming the quarterback is still at UF in 2014 and doesn’t opt to leave for the NFL. The kid has high first-round potential but is still somewhat raw. He did make big strides in his development last season, though, and it should help that he has the same coach for a second consecutive season (Brent Pease) after having Charlie Weis his freshman year.
All of Gator Nation was kept in the dark for months regarding who was going to start under center for Florida prior to the 2012 season. Would it be Jacoby Brissett, the bigger body with a fantastic pocket presence and a great deep ball? Or would it be Driskel, with a more slim frame, excellent and fast feet, and a rocket on short-to-midrange throws?
Both were headed into their sophomore seasons, and both deserved the chance following an offseason of extremely hard work.
Thus, following the kickoff of the Gators’ Week 1 showdown against Bowling Green, both Driskel and Brissett trotted onto the field: Brissett took his familiar role under center and Driskel was split out wide. After that first play, Brissett took up a clipboard on the sidelines and watched Driskel perform fairly well in the first quarter.
The coaching staff then gave Brissett the opportunity to impress in the second quarter, and he, too, played the part.
Coming out of the halftime locker room, Driskel trotted onto the field, and Brissett was not given another chance. After the game, coach Will Muschamp told reporters that he wanted to go with a more mobile guy under center. With a relatively subpar receiving corps and an offensive line that never quite rounded into form, Muschamp and Pease saw Driskel’s legs as the best chance to provide the team with success.
And they were right.
The team ripped off win after win for the next three months, losing only to rival Georgia in a game the team coughed up (literally) before earning themselves a berth in the Sugar Bowl.
To make a long story short, the entire stress of the 2012 offseason is now in the past. Brissett has transferred to NC State and will be sitting out the 2013 season before competing for the starting role in 2014.
By then — if he improves his deep ball accuracy, his reading of coverages and his overall leadership — his former teammate and competition, Driskel, may have already declared for the NFL Draft.