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Florida QB Feleipe Franks Drafted by Red Sox; Says He's Sticking with Football

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) gets congratulated by fans after defeating Florida State 41-14 in an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press

The Boston Red Sox selected Feleipe Franks in the 31st round of the MLB draft (No. 947 overall) on Wednesday, but the Florida Gators quarterback said he's sticking with football. 

"I'm flattered that the Red Sox picked me this afternoon," Franks told Will Pantages of FloridaGators.com. "However, I'm living out my dream being the quarterback of the Florida Gators. We're all working extremely hard this offseason and I cannot wait to hit the field this fall."

Franks last played baseball as a junior in high school. According to Pantages, he was "rated as the No. 500 overall baseball prospect in the country by Perfect Game in the spring of 2016. In addition, Franks was rated as the No. 117 overall player in the state of Florida and the No. 41 right-handed pitcher nationally."

Teddy Cahill @tedcahill

The Red Sox have a bit of a thing for @GatorsFB quarterbacks. Six years ago they drafted Jeff Driskel in the 29th round

The 21-year-old threw for 2,457 yards, 24 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2018 for the Gators, though he completed just 58.4 percent of his passes. He was also a threat on the ground, rushing for 350 yards and an additional seven scores.

He led Florida to a 10-3 record, including a 41-15 blowout win over Michigan in the Peach Bowl. 

But head coach Dan Mullen noted at the SEC Spring Meetings that he wants Franks to practice and play with an urgency this year and have the understanding that his current status as the starting quarterback isn't locked in stone, per Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel:

"He has to know he has to compete. I don't think he feels threatened or concerned about my opinion of him. If he doesn't perform, somebody else is going to take his spot. That's always been the case.

"The one thing he has to understand, and we preach with those guys, if you start relaxing other guys are going to beat you. I don't think he walks around in the team setting without the confidence of him acting like, 'I'm the starting quarterback and I'm the guy.' I think he has that confidence as he walks around the team.

"But he knows there are guys around him working every day to try to beat him out."

Of course, if the whole football thing doesn't work out, he could always play for the Red Sox. But it's hard to imagine that happening, especially if Franks builds on his promising 2018 campaign.

"I think he's learned how to manage some of the outside noise," Mullen said. "He's confident in what he's doing on the field. So I think that allows you to take steps in the right direction."

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