It is no secret that the Florida Gators have struggled mightily at the quarterback position ever since the departure of Tim Tebow following the 2009 season.
The Gators have started nine quarterbacks in the six years since Tebow’s departure, each as lackluster as the one who came before him. The list includes names such as John Brantley, Jeff Driskel and Treon Harris, some of which were top-rated recruits that flamed out in Gainesville.
Even catching lightning in a bottle like they did with Will Grier never panned out, as the former blue-chip was busted for PEDs and transferred out of the program. That’s not even mentioning Jacoby Brissett, who transferred out and became a starter at North Carolina State and third-round draft pick by the New England Patriots.
But while Florida’s quarterback troubles have been well-documented, this got me thinking: how bad has it been in Gainesville as compared to other schools around the country?
Since the start of the 2010 season, Florida has not had a quarterback drafted, nor has it produced an All-Conference level of play at the position. Using those parameters, I looked at the 65 Power-5 teams across the country (including Notre Dame) and saw which ones either had a quarterback drafted or produced an All-Conference quarterback during that time period.
The results are a big shocking.
Since the 2011 NFL Draft, 44 Power-5 teams (67%) have seen at least one quarterback get drafted. While the obvious answers like Florida State, Texas A&M, and Stanford stand out, some surprising names like Duke, Iowa, and Oregon State have also been called during the draft. Keep in mind, this isn’t even counting Group of Five or FCS quarterbacks that have been drafted since this time period as well.
Of those 44 names, five more are added to the list when we also account for All-Conference level players. These players were great college players who were voted to first or second-team all-conference teams, but might not have been drafted due to physical limitations or other factors.
Those schools are Georgia Tech (Justin Thomas, 2014), Illinois (Nathan Scheelhaase, 2013), Kansas State (Colin Klein, 2012), Nebraska (Taylor Martinez, 2012), and Washington State (Luke Falk, 2015/16).
Thus, the Florida Gators are included in a list of 15 other teams that have neither produced a draft pick or all-conference level player at the quarterback position since the start of the 2010 football season. Including the Gators, those teams (in alphabetical order) are:
- Boston College
- Iowa State
- South Carolina
- Wake Forest
This is not great company to be in. Jim McElwain is entering this third year as head coach in Gainesville and has yet another quarterback competition on his hands. Will it be senior Luke Del Rio or redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks throwing the ball this year? Regardless of who it will be, Gators’ fans can only hope this is the year where they finally get competent play from the quarterback position.