COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Mullen anxious to name Florida's starting QB
GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Dan Mullen is not ready to name a starting quarterback.
But a decision is coming soon.
"I really don't want it to go into the game week," Mullen said Friday. "I'd love to get it done way before then."
In a little more than two weeks, Gators will begin to prepare for a Sept. 1 visit from Charleston Southern.
Mullen has said ideally he would like to have a starter in place following the team's first scrimmage, which is Monday.
Asked if he might be prepared early next week to choose between Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask, Mullen said, "We'll see. As soon as we feel comfortable I want to do it."
One hold up is Mullen and his staff have not completely installed the offensive scheme, making it a little difficult to know what each quarterback can handle.
"To sit there and say, 'hey we haven't even put in the whole offense yet but the competition's over' for the starting job is tough," Mullen said.
Mullen does not want to rush such a weighty decision for many reasons.
Franks and Trask each need to be able to accept the outcome of the quarterback race and embrace their role going forward.
"It's not just as much as naming a starter," Mullen said. "If I'm the backup or if I'm not the starter that those guys, I want to make sure ... if we do name the starter that also the other guys are in the right frame of mind because they're a play away from being the starter and make sure they understand every aspect of it."
At the same time, learning the QB position under Mullen is a never-ending process.
Mullen said so much goes into becoming the quarterback of the Florida Gators.
Consider the following:
—Tradition and expectations.
"One of the things I keep harping on them on is that, is it's a tough job, a tough responsibility to be the quarterback at the University of Florida," he said. "A lot comes with it and the expectations of what the program is all about and the guys that have come before you. "
—The mental and physical demands of the position.
"Within our offense, we're very much a quarterback-based offense, so they have a lot to do," Mullen said. "So they're learning to do a lot of different things. Learning and managing the offense. What the checks are, what the reads are to get us in the right place, how to make quick decisions.
"And they're also working technique and fundamentals, how to improve that way."
— Being the leader of the team.
"Then the biggest one that I'm always harping on is the leadership, the body language and the leadership," Mullen said.
Mullen said playing quarterback for him and the Gators is not a job for everyone and will take its toll on anyone.
"I'm sure it's a grind on them if you ask them," Mullen said. "There's always something. It's learning to be a complete player. That takes time."
Mullen said each quarterback, along with freshman Emory Jones, continues to improve.
Ultimately, Mullen said it is up to him and the coaches to figure out who is best suited to handle one of the most demanding and high-profile positions in college football.
"Each of them have their own little strengths they've got to keep working on," he said. "And we've got to keep making sure, we've put a lot on them, is keep them working. Don't let them just get comfortable and say I'm going to be really good at just the things I'm good at. Work through the things that are not to continue to improve.
"Then as we get closer to the season, we'll take care of them and cut back and kind of hone in on make life a little easier for them."