With spring practice getting underway March 13 for Florida, a number of questions will begin to get answered leading up to the April 6 spring game. The biggest question I have for the Gators heading into the 2013 season is the health and confidence of quarterback of Jeff Driskel.
Last year at this time, Driskel was splitting reps with Jacoby Brissett, who has since transferred to North Carolina State. Driskel will need to take advantage of the extra reps this spring to improve his production from a decent first season as a starter. Driskel had some great games in his first year as a starter, and the games at Vanderbilt (where he ran for a school-record 177 yards for a quarterback and three touchdowns) and South Carolina (when he threw for four touchdowns) stand out the most.
However, there were some growing pains along the way, which is not uncommon for a first-year starter in the SEC, unless you’re Johnny Manziel. There were also some literal pains as Driskel battled through ankle injuries late in the year.
He is a gritty leader for this team and delivered in the clutch on more than one occasion, and he has the athletic ability and arm talent to be one of the more successful quarterbacks in the conference. But, if he doesn’t stay healthy and get some help from his receivers, then Florida will be hard-pressed to match their 11 wins from last year.
The spring practice will be a perfect time for Driskel to develop some chemistry with his stable of receivers and develop the timing that was missing at times last season. If the Gators can be a balanced offense this year, then they should get some revenge on Georgia and make it back to Atlanta for the SEC Championship.
I have confidence in Driskel to get there, but does he have confidence in himself?
We’ll get a glimpse into that April 6 for the Gators spring game.