doug nussmeier

Biggest question marks for Florida Gators football in 2017: Quarterback

As summer drags on, college football season slowly inches closer and closer. In mid-late June, there are a lot more questions than answers about how any team’s season will shake out. In this series, Gator Country will highlight the biggest questions for every Florida Gators position group and the affects the answers will have on this season.

The first segments of this series will take a look at Florida’s offense, starting with a few of the many questions at the quarterback position.

The Gators have been searching for answers on offense since the departure of Tim Tebow in 2009,...

Read the rest here: Biggest question marks for Florida Gators football in 2017: Quarterback

The family feel led Burney to the Florida Gators

The Florida Gators started their summer off on a high note when they picked up a big commitment on Thursday morning.

Athlete Amari Burney (6-1, 215, Clearwater, FL. Calvary Christian) announced his commitment to Florida on Thursday at his school when he picked the Gators over Ohio State and Virginia Tech.

Burney spoke to GatorCountry.com about why he picked the Gators over the Buckeyes and Hokies.

“The family feeling, my parents have a great relationship with Coach [Doug] Nussmeier and Coach Mac,” Burney said on why he committed to Florida. “I have a great relationship with them...

Read the rest here: The family feel led Burney to the Florida Gators

Fields intrigued by the Florida Gators need for a QB

The quarterback position is the most important player on the field and most of the time is the alpha male in the recruiting class and the Florida Gators are looking for their guy in 2018.

The coaching staff has several options on the board including Penn State quarterback commit Justin Fields (6-3, 221, Kennesaw, GA. Harrison) who has picked up several big offers lately including ones from Florida and Florida State.

“It’s definitely humbling getting offers from both of those prestigious schools,” Field said of his latest offers from Florida and FSU. “They’ve been pretty big...

Read the rest here: Fields intrigued by the Florida Gators need for a QB

Recruiting territories for the Florida Gators coaching staff

The evaluation period is officially open for schools so they can now send coaches out to evaluate prospects at their schools. Coaches are able to visit each school twice during the evaluation period that runs through May 31st.

This is a big time for all coaches including the Florida Gators who have three new coaches on staff that will get on the road for the first as Gators.

With three new coaches, head coach Jim McElwain and director of player personnel Drew Hughes had to redesign the recruiting areas for each coach.

GatorCountry.com takes a look at the areas that each coach will...

Read the rest here: Recruiting territories for the Florida Gators coaching staff

Williams likes the Florida Gators coaching staff

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA.- The Florida Gators are looking for that alpha male to lead the 2018 class and that person is often the quarterback, which the Gators are still looking for in this year’s class.

Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and head coach Jim McElwain have offered several quarterbacks so far but most of them are committed to other schools which means the Gators are going for the flip and they have a chance with a few of those guys.

One of those guys that Florida is after is Kentucky quarterback commit Jarren Williams (6-3, 205, Lawrenceville, GA. Central Gwinnett) who took a...

Read the rest here: Williams likes the Florida Gators coaching staff

Florida Gators: What we learned from the spring game

The Florida Gators concluded spring practice with the Orange and Blue Debut Friday night under the lights at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Orange team (first string) beat the Blue team (second/third string) 31-0.

Here are five things we learned/five observations from the spring game.

1. Get Kadarius Toney the Ball

Spring football camp is a time for optimism. Everyone is happy with their team, everybody is playing well and, for the most part, coaches toss compliments around in excess.

Both Doug Nussmeier and Jim McElwain would light up when asked about Kadarius...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators: What we learned from the spring game

Feleipe Franks takes the lead in Gators QB race

The Monday before the Orange and Blue Debut Jim McElwain told reporters there had been some separation in the Florida Gators quarterback race. With Luke Del Rio sidelined this spring due to injury the battle came down to Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask.

The separation that McElwain eluded two was quickly apparent when Franks trotted out with the first team offense for the first series. Franks did this again three more times before McElwain and offensive Doug Nussmeier pulled their presumed starter, leaving the rest of the game in the hands of Trask and freshman Kadarius Toney.

“He’s...

Read the rest here: Feleipe Franks takes the lead in Gators QB race

Tyrie Cleveland more comfortable, poised to breakout

Tyrie Cleveland enrolled at Florida with a buzz and hype surrounding him typically reserved for a quarterback. The four-star receiver shined at Westfield High School in Houston, Texas and torched the nation’s best cornerbacks at the Under Armour All-American game. His combination of size and speed had Florida Gators fans, starving for offense, drooling at the potential.

Then he hit a speed bump. First, a hamstring injury limited his participation in practice and then an off the field incident put his name in headlines in the wrong way.

“Coming in I was expected to do a lot more,”...

Read the rest here: Tyrie Cleveland more comfortable, poised to breakout

Jackson looking for answers from the Florida Gators

The Florida Gators only signed one tight end in the 2017 class after Zech Byrd didn’t sign with the Gators on signing day.

That means the Gators are looking to add at least one in this year’s class and on Saturday tight end Jarrett Jackson (6-4, 257, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. High) visited Florida.

“The visit went well, just a couple of things that I’m waiting to find out about,” Jackson said of his Florida visit. “It went great overall but there’s still some question about where I’m going to play at in college. I got to learn a little bit about the school,...

Read the rest here: Jackson looking for answers from the Florida Gators

Massey’s road to a speedy ACL recovery for Florida Gators

Nothing in life has ever come easy for Florida Gators wide receiver Dre Massey.

From moving around a lot as a child, to losing his father in a car accident at a young age, to paving his way out of Holmes Community College and finally landing at the University of Florida, all the obstacles Massey has faced in his life have given him the strength to endure whatever new challenges are thrown his way.

The most recent hurdle to add to his list came last fall, in the very first game of his Division I football career. His mother traveled all the way from Greenville, South Carolina, to see her...

Read the rest here: Massey’s road to a speedy ACL recovery for Florida Gators

Feleipe Franks has “come along way” since last O&B game

He’d be one of the first to admit it. When it was his time to get in and play during the 2016 Orange and Blue Debut his head was still spinning. The playbook, the new faces, everything about playing quarterback at this level was still overwhelming to Feleipe Franks.

It showed.

Franks, a highly sought after recruit, threw three interceptions before fining C’yontai Lewis for the game’s final touchdown late in the fourth quarter. It was a disastrous introduction to a fan base that was eagerly anticipating its first glimpse at their freshman quarterback.

“I think it was a case of...

Read the rest here: Feleipe Franks has “come along way” since last O&B game

What is the Florida Gators quarterback battle like?

Steve Spurrier is in the Florida Gators football offices. He has his own office at the end of the hall in the communications wing and occasionally meets with the football coaches to talk ball, watch film and stay around the team. He isn’t, however, making decisions about personnel; so don’t expect to see Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier playing on the quarterback carousel that Spurrier set up with Noah Brindise and Doug Johnson in 1997.

For the first time since they’ve been together in Gainesville Nussmeier and McElwain will have a quarterback under center that they recruited to run...

Read the rest here: What is the Florida Gators quarterback battle like?

Florida Gators early enrollees earning early praise

Enrolling at college early is a sacrifice but it’s a move that is already paying dividends for several new Florida Gators.

They should be enjoying the last few months of high school, getting ready for prom and hanging out with their friends but instead graduated high school early and are cramming in the film room, studying a new playbook and sweating next to a new group of friend out on the practice field in Gainesville.

On Monday Jim McElwain singled out Kemore Gamble and Kadeem Telfort as two freshmen that are taking advantage of the head start they earned themselves over the rest of...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators early enrollees earning early praise

Florida Gators offer “means a lot” to Milton

The Florida Gators are looking for a quarterback in the class of 2018 and on Tuesday they handed out an offer at the position.

Quarterback Joe Milton (6-5, 222, Orlando, FL. Olympia) was the guy who got that offer from Gators head coach Jim McElwain on Tuesday.

“They offered me during the visit,” Milton said. “Coach McElwain was the coach who gave me the offer. He first told me to think about how I would look in the Orange and Blue and then after that he offered me a scholarship.”

Milton has been very open about how much he wanted an offer from Florida and he explained why...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators offer “means a lot” to Milton

Petit-Frere thinks highly of new Florida Gators OL coach

The first few weeks on the job for Florida Gators new offensive line coach Brad Davis has been successful on the recruiting trail as prospects visit campus to meet him.

Two weekends ago offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere (6-6, 260, Tampa, FL. Berkeley Prep) was on campus and had a great visit that included meeting the coaching staff.

“It was a good visit, Gainesville is a very special place,” Petit-Frere said of his latest visit to Florida. “The coaches were great and it was just a great visit. We had brunch, and then I got to meet some of the coaches. After that, we got to go...

Read the rest here: Petit-Frere thinks highly of new Florida Gators OL coach

Florida Gators’ playbook grows with addition of Massey

The Florida Gators coaching staff could hardly contain their excitement when Dre Massey enrolled prior to the 2016 season. The junior college transfer has a wide range of skills and Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier were itching to give the Gators’ offense a new wrinkle.

Massey played quarterback in high school. He famously scored 11 touchdowns — eight rushing — in a 83-70 win in high school. Massey can run, throw and catch. He was going to play special teams and have packages tailored to him.

However, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Massey tore his ACL on the...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators’ playbook grows with addition of Massey

Jake Allen: Florida Gators Class of 2017 signee

Jake Allen

School: St. Thomas Aquinas Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL Height: 6’3 Weight: 204 Position: Quarterback Rivals Ranking: 3-star Recruited by: Tim Skipper, Doug Nussmeier Notable: Allen passed for 4,753 yards and 51 touchdowns in his high school career. As a senior, he passed for 2,311 yards, averaging 14.7 yards per completion and 165.1 yards per game. He had 27 touchdowns to 7 interceptions on the...

Burney enjoys his junior day visit to the Florida Gators

Last Saturday the Florida Gators had several top 2018 junior prospects on campus for a small junior day and it was a successful one.

One of those 2018 prospects on campus was athlete Amari Burney (6-1, 205, Clearwater, FL. Calvary Christian) who got to see a lot of things during the visit.

“The visit went good, we got to go and see the basketball game,” Burney said. “I played Madden with one of the guys that was taking us around when I first got there. I got to talk with the coaches, Coach [Jim] McElwain and the receiver coach, Coach [Kerry] Dixon.”

One of the experiences that...

Read the rest here: Burney enjoys his junior day visit to the Florida Gators

Florida Gators quarterbacks can use Grayson as mentor

The Florida Gators quest to find a quarterback since Tim Tebow graduated is growing close to a decade. Head coach Jim McElwain, called a quarterback guru when he took the job at Florida, appeared to have his man in each of his first two seasons before suspension and injury derailed the progress.

Last week it was revealed that Luke Del Rio underwent shoulder surgery and would miss spring practice. With Austin Appleby’s graduation the Gators will be thin at quarterback when spring camp rolls around, but it may not be bad news.

Florida will turn the reigns over to a pair of redshirt...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators quarterbacks can use Grayson as mentor

Florida Gators recruiting class will surprise fans according to Allen

Over the weekend when the Florida Gators recruiting staff hosted official visits six of the ten prospects on campus were committed but that was a good thing as they were able to work the uncommitted targets.

One of the guys leading the recruiting pitch was quarterback commit Jake Allen (6-3, 195, Fort Lauderdale, FL. St. Thomas Aquinas) who enjoyed getting to know his other classmates.

"Spending time with the guys was great,” Allen said on what he enjoyed the visit. “We've never really hung out with each other and learned about each other. We've only had a relationship over Twitter...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators recruiting class will surprise fans according to Allen

Moore had an “amazing” visit to see the Florida Gators

Florida Gators offensive line commit T.J. Moore (6-5, 290, Charlotte, NC. Mallard Creek) has visited Florida several times in the past but this weekend he took his official visit to Gainesville.

This visit was his first time being on campus since he committed in December and it was a successful visit he says.

“The trip overall was amazing, it isn’t just about partying or hanging out with your teammates,” Moore said of the visit. “It’s about that I made a family in less than a week with Coach Mac, the offensive coordinator [Doug Nussmeier] and the rest of the coaching staff. I...

Read the rest here: Moore had an “amazing” visit to see the Florida Gators

Florida Gators coaches ease Moore’s mind about OL coach

Tuesday night wasn’t just any night for Florida Gators offensive line commits T.J. Moore (6-4, 270, Charlotte, NC., Mallard Creek) as he and his family played host to three Gators coaches.

Head coach Jim McElwain, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and director of player personnel Drew Hughes also visited Moore and the lineman said it was a successful meeting.

“It was good, we sat down and had a long conversation and got to know each other,” Moore said on how McElwain’s visit with him went. “He’s a very good coach and person. He’s very energetic and fun to be around and...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators coaches ease Moore’s mind about OL coach

Gators pick up first 2018 commitment: Florida Gators recruiting

The Florida Gators recruiting class for 2018 picked up its first member on Friday when athlete Jalynn Williams (5-11, 185, St. Petersburg, FL. High) committed to the Gators.

“Growing up, I always wanted to commit to my dream school the University of Florida,” Williams said. “I got the offer and knew I wanted to commit.”

Williams had a big summer when he camped at Florida and Ohio State, picking up offers from both schools. Following that Gainesville trip, he knew where he was going.

“As soon as Florida offered me this summer I knew I was going to commit,”...

Read the rest here: Gators pick up first 2018 commitment: Florida Gators recruiting

Luke Del Rio not assuming anything in Gators’ QB competition, despite Spurrier endorsement

Florida Gators quarterbacks Austin Appleby (12) and Luke Del Rio (14) are competing for the starting job this camp. (TIm Casey/UAA Communications)

Florida Gators quarterbacks Austin Appleby (12) and Luke Del Rio (14) are competing for the starting job this camp. (TIm Casey/UAA Communications)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Luke Del Rio, the leader in Florida’s open quarterback competition entering preseason camp, heard along with everyone else last week the strong endorsement he received from former Gators coach and newly minted ambassador/consultant Steve Spurrier.

And he was no doubt ready for the inevitable question Wednesday at the Gators’ media day on the eve of the team’s first practice.

“That kind of blew up,” Del Rio said playfully of Spurrier’s comments. “I appreciate the insight, but it’s still an open competition.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjsyuaGOHQo&w=640&h=360]

In talking with reporters last Friday about returning to his alma mater, Spurrier made headlines by inadvertently declaring Del Rio the Gators’ new starting quarterback.

Florida head coach Jim McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier have yet to make the same declaration, though, and didn’t offer anything new Wednesday while saying they want to see how the team’s offensive players feed off both Del Rio and Austin Appleby, a graduate transfer from Purdue, during camp.

“We’ll make the decision when we’re ready to make the decision and when we think the timing’s right,” Nussmeier said. “I don’t think you can sit here today and say it’s this day or that day.”

Said McElwain: “I really believe, to play successful football at the quarterback position, the people around you, A, have to believe; and B, they have got to trust in everything you’re doing; and C, their play is elevated based on how you go about playing the position. …

“So I’ll see how the guys respond to them when they are in the huddle, when they are into the situations that we, you know, set up during practice. That really is kind of, to me, the key to success at the position.”

Pressed for any further commitment to Del Rio’s grip on the job, McElwain wasn’t biting.

“Has anything ever changed here?” he joked, keeping whatever deeper opinions he has to himself.

So the competition continues as the Gators look to find stability at quarterback. They’ve struggled to find any such stability since Will Grier’s season ended with a suspension for a positive PED test, and Treon Harris was inconsistent in replacing him. Both Grier and Harris have since transferred out of the program.

Del Rio, meanwhile, is about as well traveled as a redshirt sophomore can be.

The son of Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, he spent the 2013 season at Alabama as a walk-on, before joining Oregon State in 2014 and then sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules after arriving at Florida. But he had that year to absorb the Gators offense

On Wednesday, he thought back to the circuitous path that has brought him to this opportunity now.

“It was tough. It definitely was, going to three different schools,” he said. “I basically went to Alabama because it was a dream of mine. I wanted to play for Coach [Nick] Saban, I wanted to play with the best in the country, they were the national champions at the time. It was a mixture of things [causing me to leave] Alabama, and then at Oregon State it was pretty much strictly coaching staff changes. But I couldn’t be happier to be here.”

Del Rio recounted how he was told during spring practice in 2015, after Oregon State head coach Mike Riley had left for Nebraska and a new staff had taken over, that he was not part of the Beavers’ future.

“It was a Tuesday, it was like 6:50 in the morning when they told me and I still had to go practice because it was during spring practice. It hurt a lot,” he said. “I asked them, ‘So you want me to transfer?’ And they basically said, ‘Look, we’re not telling you to do anything; we’re just telling you you won’t play here. …

“Alabama was more complicated, but Oregon State was very difficult. I had a good thing going, I was settled, but once again, I’m happy to be here.”

Del Rio said McElwain had recruited him “very hard” when he was the head coach at Colorado State. He didn’t want to play in the altitude of Colorado, though.

Instead, they find themselves together now in Gainesville trying to jumpstart an offense that averaged just 12.8 points over the final six games of last season.

Del Rio has only thrown 18 passes in college — all in 2014 with Oregon State — but he’s had that extra year in the program to get up to speed with the offense here. Now he has this preseason camp to finally prove whether he’s indeed the best option.

“I’m confident in my ability,” he said. “I can really only control what I can control. I feel if I play to the best of my ability then I’ll have a good shot at winning the job.”

As for Appleby, he said he had far easier paths to playing time when he decided to leave Purdue for his final year of eligibility.

He started 11 games and played in 17 over three seasons with the Boilermakers, passing for 2,777 career yards, 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

Appleby said he had about two weeks to find a new home in-between getting his release from Purdue and a recruiting dead period, but that was enough time to drum up considerable interest — including several schools that could have offered him a better guarantee of playing time.

“There was a number of them. People in this conference, people in MAC-level conferences, all the way in between, but for me, I want to be the very best I can be,” Appleby said. “And Coach Mac, Coach Nuss, these teammates, for me there was something about this place that I couldn’t pass it up. …

“It didn’t take long for me to be 100 percent sold on what the Gators were offering and what a special thing we have brewing here and how I can be a part of that.”

While Del Rio exited the spring as the leader in the quarterback competition, Appleby says he’s had the best summer of his collegiate career. He said he has come a long way in terms of his understanding of the offense and his chemistry with the receivers.

“I have a world of confidence. I had one of my best summers I’ve ever had since becoming a college football player, really taking the opportunity to learn and develop my plan within the plan — not just understanding the plays, but understanding why we’re calling them, what we’re trying to accomplish, who runs it the best, where do my eyes need to be …,” he said.

“Those were things I was a little behind in the spring time, trying to catch up. I didn’t even know where to run from drill to drill in practice. Now I’ve got my feet under me, I understand what we’re trying to accomplish as an offense, I understand the coaches and I can just go be an extension of them and affect my teammates in positive ways.

“I’m right where I need to be. I couldn’t be more confident.”

Between those two options, Nussmeier said he feels good about the depth the Gators have this year at such a crucial position.

“Obviously as we came out of spring, we talked about Luke had a slight edge, and we’re going to let them compete and see where we end up,” he said.

And eventually somebody on the current coaching staff will make a declaration as to who will actually get the first shot at the job.

QB Jake Allen thriving as bond, chemistry with Gators coaches grows

Jake Allen, a 4-star quarterback from Fort Lauderdale. (Special to the AJC)

Jake Allen, a 4-star quarterback from Fort Lauderdale. (Special to the AJC)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It’s important for a quarterback and his position coach to be on the same page.

Florida commit Jake Allen has developed that kind of rapport with Gators offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier over the past year. Allen, who pledged to UF last summer, worked with Nussmeier and Florida coach Jim McElwain at this past weekend’s Friday Night Lights event.

#Gators QB Jake Allen throwing at Friday Night Lights https://t.co/I5E8bwdFZb

— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) July 23, 2016

“The more time I have around Coach Nuss and Coach Mac, the better I get,” said Allen, a product of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“I was just throwing for them and having a good time. It was fun.”

The chemistry between Allen and Nussmeier is evident when they work together, and that relationship exists off the field, as well.

“He’s an awesome guy,” Allen said. “I love hanging around him. I’m comfortable. I don’t have to put on a different persona. I can just be myself.

“He can relate to the quarterback. He used to play it and he knows the position. It’s good to have a coach like that.”

Nussmeier photobombed Allen at the conclusion of Friday Night Lights, and their fun began as soon as the camp started.

“Nuss was talking some trash to me,” Allen said. “We were doing the first drill when you have to throw it through the net, and he told me I couldn’t do it. He goes, ‘Jake, don’t throw it to the ground.’ It was funny. But of course I made it.”

The nation’s No. 10 pro-style quarterback also recruited some offensive skill players during his trip, such as 4-star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and 4-star running back Adarius Lemons, who committed to Florida on Monday. Allen threw a long touchdown pass to Jeudy after he shook a cornerback to the ground on a juke move that went viral.

#Gators QB commit Jake Allen with a big TD pass to WR Jerry Jeudy. https://t.co/SH63XoElbT

— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) July 23, 2016

“You have to find little niches in their recruitment,” Allen said when asked how he approaches other prospects. “Everyone has something that they want to hear and they want to have in a college. So you have to find that out and keep stressing it.

“It’s not easy going to random guys and talking to them. But I like doing that and I enjoy it.”

Unless otherwise indicated, ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports Composite. 

Zach Abolverdi is the Florida beat writer for SEC Country and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Florida Gators visit exceeds Jaggers expectations

The Florida Gators hosted a big prospect from California on campus Monday for an unofficial visit

Tight end Jimmie Jaggers (6-4, 244, Roseville, CA High) visited Gainesville with his father and sister and it was the first time for the tight end to meet Jim McElwain.

“It was a great visit overall for sure,” Jaggers said of his Monday visit. “We were able to sit down with Coach Mac, Coach [Doug] Nussmeier and Coach [Greg] Nord and talk football. We talked about where they see me playing as far as an offensive role and of course we got to see the campus and facilities.”

Jaggers...

Read the rest here: Florida Gators visit exceeds Jaggers expectations

A happy Scott family visits the Florida Gators

Last weekend the Florida Gators had a big piece of its 2017 recruiting class on campus for the first time, despite him already committing.

A smiling Jim McElwain met defensive tackle Jordon Scott (6-1, 345, Largo, FL Pinellas Park) and his family when they visited on Saturday.

“It was one of the best days of my life,” Scott said of the Florida visit. “It was an amazing time and I was one of the first people and athletes to be able to go in the new academic center. When I talked to Coach Mac he acted like he knew more than just as a football player, and when I first got there Coach...

Read the rest here: A happy Scott family visits the Florida Gators

Doug Nussmeier says Luke Del Rio ‘a little bit ahead’ in Gators quarterback competition

Gators offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier spoke about the quarterback situation. (UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey)

Gators offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier spoke about the quarterback situation. (UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey)

The Gators’ quarterback competition has attracted a lot of attention this offseason.

Oregon State transfer Luke Del Rio — who was ineligible to play for the Gators last season due to NCAA transfer rules — is competing with Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby, and freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask to be Florida’s starting quarterback this year.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier had some stuff to say to the Palm Beach Post on the Gators’ quarterback battle before speaking to the Palm Beach County Gator Club on Tuesday night.

Here’s what Nussmeier had to say:

Gators coaches are impressed with the way Del Rio worked and mastered Florida’s offense this spring: “The biggest thing is that Luke has really learned to let the offense work for him. He has a really good understanding of what we’re doing. Obviously he was in the system before. He’s really grasped the system well and he really understands how to let the system work for him. Any time you do something over and over again, obviously you get better.”

Better things are expected from Appleby this fall after working in Florida’s offense for the first time this spring: “I think Austin had a really good spring and I think he’ll continue to make another jump this fall because he just got it for the first time this spring. He did it, had time to digest it, and now he’ll get to go back and do it again.”

Freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask learned a lot this spring as early enrollees: “Everything is brand new to them, so everything we’re teaching them is from phase one. They will make even bigger strides because their learning curve is even steeper. We’re very pleased with both Kyle and Feleipe. But I don’t want to make any assessments today. It’s so early in their development.”

Even after throwing three interceptions in the spring game, Nussmeier is encouraged by Franks’ growth this spring: “The way society is today, everybody wants instant gratification. They want success right away. I think that’s why you see so many quarterbacks really have struggles early and don’t do well because expectations are so high for them. I think when you put those kinds of expectations on a kid that’s learning something, it makes it very difficult. He has great tools. A lot of the things we’re teaching him, it’s the first time he’s done it. So he’s going to get better and better and I really think he has a very, very high ceiling.”

Nussmeier admits Del Rio is “a little bit” ahead in the quarterback competition, but said the battle is not over yet: “As coach said, I think (Del Rio) had a really good spring. As coach Mac has said, maybe (Del Rio) is a little bit ahead. But we’re going to continue to let these guys compete. Remember, Austin did things for the first time this spring and he’s going to come back and be a lot better the second time though. Those guys continue to battle each and every day. Just as a group and the way they pushed each other, I’m excited about all four of those guys.”

Scott feeling like a Florida Gator

The Florida Gators picked up commitment number six on Wednesday night and it was a big one, both literally and figuratively.

Defensive tackle Jordon Scott (6-1, 345, Largo, FL Pinellas Park) committed to Florida on Wednesday night after talking to defensive line coach Chris Rumph and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

Scott fills a huge need in the recruiting class, as the Gators are in need of defensive tackles in the class of 2017 having not signing one in the class of 2016.

“This morning I had a talk with my coach and this whole time I knew Florida was for me, but I just had...

Read the rest here: Scott feeling like a Florida Gator

Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has ‘unfinished business’ at Florida

Gators offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey)

Gators offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey)

When Southern Miss approached Doug Nussmeier about its open head coaching job in January, he listened.

“Obviously, you get an opportunity to be a head coach, you got to listen,” Nussmeier said to the Palm Beach Post before speaking to the Palm Beach County Gator Club on Tuesday night.

But after becoming a top candidate to replace Todd Monken as the Southern Miss head coach, Nussmeier decided to stay at Florida. Nussmeier is preparing to begin his second season as the Gators’ offensive coordinator.

“I want to go to a place where it’s the right place for me and my family,” Nussmeier said to the Palm Beach Post. “When the time is right, the time will be right. I felt like we got unfinished business here and I feel like we can do some really special things here at Florida.”

Nussmeier’s return brings some continuity to the Gators offense, which has had six different offensive coordinators since 2008. Florida finished ranked 111th nationally in total offense this past season under Nussmeier, averaging eight points over the final three games.

Nussmeier is entering the second year of the three-year contract he signed with the Gators. He is set to make $515,000 this year and $540,000 in the final year of his contract.

[Recruiting: Gators pushing hard for 5-star Ohio State commit Shaun Wade]

[Related: Gators clinch GateHouse Media SEC All-Sports titles]

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