Florida names Luke Del Rio starting QB for season opener
Aug 22 2016
Del Rio, a redshirt sophomore, beat out graduate transfer Austin Appleby from Purdue, and will start the season opener against UMass on September 3. It is official now. Soon after, Beavers coach Mike Riley left Oregon State for Nebraska so Del Rio transferred to Florida. Del Rio was the clear front-runner for the starting role after closing spring practice with a 10-for-11 performance with two touchdown passes in the Gators' annual Orange and Blue game.
Purdue transfer Austin Appleby and freshman Felipe Franks were in competition to start before Del Rio pulled away with the starting gig.
"He's just been going out to practice every day and competing".
Both head coach Gary Andersen and quarterbacks coach Kevin McGiven (now also a co-offensive coordinator) said after Del Rio's transfer that the separation was amicable.
Treon Harris started part-time the last two seasons, but left the team over the summer with intentions to transfer. McElwain and the Gators hope that Del Rio can limit mistakes and give them a capable passing attack all season, something they did not have to close 2015 despite hanging on to win the SEC East division title.
But with Del Rio at the helm and four capable running backs to keep the offense balanced, McElwain remains optimistic that will change this season. And you know what, they're good people.
"Luke's command on everything we're trying to do has been good", McElwain said. McElwain, then coach at Colorado State, offered Del Rio his first scholarship. "I'm excited to roll him out there". "Just having the support system that I did really helped keep my head on straight and stay positive". So we will soon seen what kind of dividends starting Del Rio at quarterback will pay for the Gators. His ball comes out quick and he's right on time.