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Florida left with young quarterbacks after Luke Del Rio’s surgery

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The University of Florida’s search for a quarterback just got more interesting.

The school announced that incumbent quarterback Luke Del Rio will miss spring training due to a (non-throwing) shoulder injury, leaving the brunt of the competition to Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask, a pair of well regarded freshmen.

Del Rio, who came to Florida via Alabama and Oregon State, was 5-1 for the Gators last season before being injured. He threw for 1,358 yards and eight touchdowns.

Franks ascended to No. 2 on the depth chart, but the Gators never played him, which kept his redshirt status.

“You’re talking about a guy (Franks), ultra-talented, who came in and we threw a lot at him early and he’s really, really learned how to prepare and how to take the offense and take the tools we’re giving him and now apply them to the field,” Nussmeier said.

The 6-foot-4, 228-pound Trask arrived from Houston having been a high school backup and lightly recruited, but is a quick study and might be the Gators’ best pure passer.

“Kyle is a guy that when you tell him it one time, he gets it right now,” Nussmeier said. “He can process information very, very well, his accuracy is unbelievable and he’s just done a really, really good job for a guy that doesn’t have a ton of snaps.

“When you put him in situations, he reacts very, very well.”

The Gators have been solid on defense for the past two seasons, winning the SEC East both times. But the team has sputtered on offense and has never found a good quarterback.

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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