Florida Football: Introducing the Gators' 3 Replacements for John Brantley
Brantley was having the best game of his career at Florida before going down with what the coaches have described as a "lower leg injury." There has been no time table set for Brantley's return, and in his absence the Gators will have three options to replace the senior.
The coaches have yet to name a starter for the game Saturday at LSU, saying that all three quarterbacks will get reps this week in practice. Let's take a look at who those options are and what they bring to the table for Florida.
Jeff Driskel is a true freshman who enrolled early and participated in spring practice for the Gators. This gave him a leg up on the other freshmen and a chance to start learning the playbook early. The move benefited Driskel as he was named the backup quarterback after the spring game.
Driskel was the consensus No. 1 overall quarterback from the class of 2011. He is a dual-threat quarterback who has the ability to take off and run if a play breaks down.
Driskel is the only other Gator quarterback (not counting Trey Burton, who is listed at RB) who has any passing stats on the season other than John Brantley. For the most part Driskel has looked every bit of a freshman when he has come into games. On the season he is 7-of-16 passing for 73 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.
His interception against Florida Atlantic came after an overthrown pass and was his fault. On the other hand, the interception against Kentucky was not his fault. Driskel zipped a great pass into his receiver's hands near the goal line, only to have the ball bounce off his pads and into a Kentucky defender's hands.
Driskel has showed that he has a strong arm, but does not look comfortable at the position just yet. Against Alabama he waited too long to throw the ball, resulting in several sacks. Driskel needs to develop an internal clock and use his ability to run if he cannot find a receiver open.
Driskel is the current front-runner in most minds because he is the only other quarterback with playing experience this season.
Jacoby Brissett is a true freshman quarterback from Dwyer High School in Florida. Brissett did not enroll into the university early, but was on campus in the summer and competed in summer workouts. By not enrolling early, Brissett has taken a back seat to fellow freshman Driskel. Brissett joins three fellow Dwyer High players: Matt Elam, Gerald Christian, and Robert Clark.
Brisset is another dual-threat quarterback, but has yet to see any playing time this season. He was the 75th overall player at any position, and the third-ranked quarterback in his class, according to rivals.
Brissett has earned some praise of late and is seemingly becoming more comfortable with the offense. It will be a surprise is he is named the starter for LSU, but is closing the gap on Jeff Driskel and could see playing time if Driskel struggles.
Tyler Murphy is a sophomore quarterback who dressed for all 13 games last year for the Gators, but did not receive any playing time.
A 2-star quarterback according to rivals, Murphy originally committed to Temple, then decided to sign with Urban Meyer and the Gators. Murphy is the prototypical spread option quarterback and was perfect for Meyer's scheme. He now finds himself out of place in an offense he is not built to run.
Murphy and Driskel competed for the backup role to John Brantley during the spring and summer, where Murphy fell just short being listed as the third-string quarterback. He has since been beaten out by Jacoby Brissett.
Murphy received his first playing time this season against Kentucky, but did not record any passing stats.
If at any point against LSU, Murphy is in the game at quarterback, something has likely has gone terribly wrong for the Gators. It is more likely that sophomore RB Trey Burton would take snaps at quarterback before Murphy.