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Florida Football

Tebow to Franks: 'Trust the System'

September 6, 2018

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Feleipe Franks is hoping to do something a Florida Gators quarterback hasn’t done in a decade; excite the fan base and make a positive difference in the Gators season. The last one to do that was under the same tutelage as Franks now—Dan Mullen—and as such has some advice for the redshirt sophomore passer.

Tim Tebow is arguably one of the most electric Florida players in the history of the program and for that matter, all of college football. Mullen has a long history of successful quarterbacks—including Alex Smith of Utah who is entering his 14th season in the NFL—but Tebow had one of the most prolific college careers with two National Championships, a Heisman trophy and a slew of other awards and adulations.

Tebow was in Gainesville Thursday morning, partnering with the Allstate and a local organization—Food4Kids—that provides backpacks of food to send home from school with children in need on weekends. He took a minute to asses Franks performance versus Charleston Southern (16-24, 219 yds. 5TDs), his five touchdown passes which were the most for a Gator QB in a half since 2000 and what he needs to do moving forward, beginning with Florida’s SEC opener this Saturday against Kentucky.

“Trust the system, don’t focus on the pressure cause the better you do the more pressure you’ll have. It’s not about the numbers you put up, it’s about leading the team. He had the opportunity the score five touchdowns cause that’s what the offense presented. It could have easily been five rushing touchdowns in that game. So don’t worry about that—it’s hard not to worry about these things—but focus on leading the offense, going through what Mullen’s gonna teach you.

“As much as you can focus on 1st down, 2nd down, 3rd down, blitz packages, that sort of thing, stay into the game plan and stay out of the press, the media, don’t listen to the hype, don’t listen to what people said about you last year, don’t listen to what they said about after one game. It’s never as good as it seems, it’s never as bad as it seems.

One of the large reasons Franks is believed to have been tapped with the job is his chemistry with the team and the leadership skills he exhibited throughout fall camp. Tebow, who was legendary for his halftime speeches to the team, says Franks needs to focus on that part of his position just as much as any playbook.

“Remember, he’s extremely talented. He got a scholarship here for a reason, he can throw the ball however far, he’s very talented, so believe in himself. Not that I have to show that to the world but you show that to your teammates so they believe in you. Keep having that first that the rest of the team will play around and rally around cause I believe that’s more than how well you throw a slant route or a jump pass, is being able to be the guy that other people are better because they’re around you.”

Franks was able to hype up his teammates and the fan base with his performance in the opening game, thanks in large part to his execution of a jump pass that mirrored the two from Tebow in 2006 and 2008 that live on as some of Gator fans favorite memories. Timmy himself was complimentary of Franks pass saying, “I thought it was good. I thought it was really well designed. I thought they set it up well, I thought Feleipe did it well. He jumped off one foot, I jumped off two so it was little differences but it was awesome. I think he probably could’ve ran it in.”

Franks told reporters that he had never seen footage of either of Tebow’s jump passes—versus LSU in 2006 and Oklahoma in 2008—until this past Sunday. Tebow laughed, somewhat surprised when he learned of this, but was stunned more with Mullen than Feleipe.

“I gotta get on Coach Mullen. Why would you not watch old jump passes so he could at least have some video and say ‘ok this is what happens?’”

There should plenty more opportunity for Mullen to show Franks some old footage and implement it into the game as well as the two work to reinvigorate a once proud program. It’s something that Tebow noticed even from afar, traveling with the SEC Network show SEC Nation, as he watched on television and recognized the first embers of a fire that he’d help stoke for years.

“I think Florida’s much improved, I think they’re getting there. I think you can see that; I was talking the other day to some people and it was just, it’s so evident when you watch a few of these new coaches at places—Mullen here, Jimbo at A&M and you see, you can’t just see in the score but how they play. You can look at Feleipe and his feet in the pocket; he’s coached, he’s going one to two to three.

“You can see how much Mullen’s pressing ‘you play with fire, reckless abandon, go run, run, run.’ He’s getting that excitement and trying to infuse that into players so he no longer has to bring the excitement, they bring the excitement. And it’s evident to me just watching it on TV how much of a change that he’s brought and I think it really speaks volumes.”

Tebow will be honored for his time at Florida on October 6 when he’s inducted into the Ring of Honor inside Ben-Hill Griffin Stadium.

Tebow to Franks: 'Trust the System'

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