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To be a complete team, Gators need to find a quarterback

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Two years in, two championship games, and the Help Wanted sign remains out.

Now, more than ever, the University of Florida needs a quarterback.

With the Gators playing in the SEC Championship game Saturday afternoon, the Gators’ weakest position stands out the most. Who is there to guide the Gators toward the end zone? Who is there to have a breakout game to lead an upset?

Look around. Alabama has a great defensive line, but Florida’s good, too. If linebacker Jarrad Davis plays, the Gators can play some linebacker. Cornerbacks Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor are potential first round picks. Jordan Scarlett is a good running back. Receivers Antonio Callaway and Reggie Cleveland have speed.

But what about the quarterback?

Still?

Coach Jim McElwain has been at Florida for two seasons, and that’s the team’s biggest shortcoming. It simply hasn’t found a quarterback in the tradition of the great Florida quarterbacks. You know: Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow. Those guys. The Statue Guys.

Of course, Will Grier’s suspension and departure left a big hole for the Gators. It was bad enough when he tested positive for PEDs, but his jumping ship created a hole.

Can freshman Feleipe Franks grow into a solid quarterback? Can Kyle Trask? Is there a recruit in the distance?

Regardless, this much is clear. Florida will never be the team it needs to be until it has the quarterback it wants.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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