March 2nd, 2010 02:59pm

Florida going after dual-threat QB Driskel

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Florida’s quarterback decisions for the 2010 class have been heavily scrutinized, but even Urban Meyer said he likes what Trey Burton and Tyler Murphy bring to his spread offense. In 2011, however, Florida should be looking to snatch one or two of the bigger quarterback fish.

One prospect who currently resembles a whale shark in the recruiting world is Oviedo Hagerty’s Jeff Driskel. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound, dual-threat quarterback wowed scouts and members of the media at the U.S. Army National Combine in January and continued his combine dominance at the Elite 11 Regional QB Camp Sunday at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. Reports are that he had one of the strongest arms at the camp and was the most fluid of any of the other particpants.

When I spoke to Driskel after he returned from Orlando, he said that he felt he did well.

“I feel like I can make all the throws on the field in the pocket or on the run,” Driskel said. “I can make some plays with my legs because I’ve got some speed.”

Since January, Driskel has gotten a lot of publicity and is considered to be one of the top prospects this year. Driskel doesn’t call it fame, but his name is “starting to blow up a little bit.”

I will make one thing clear. His name is blowing up, but his head isn’t. Driskel comes across as a very humble kid, which can be hard for a quarterback getting this much love this early.

The media has drooled over Driskel’s ability (he’s been clocked running a 4.52 in the 40), but college coaches saw enough in Driskel’s junior season — he threw for 1,427 yards and 11 touchdowns — to realize that it’s time to put the heat on him.

“They like my accuracy and they like my strong arm,” Driskel said of what college coaches have said about his skill set. “They like my poise in the pocket. Obviously they like the size as well. That never hurts.”

Driskel said he doesn’t have a list of top schools at the moment, but he’s getting the most attention to Auburn, Florida, LSU, Mississippi, USC and just picked up on offer from Tennessee Sunday. He’s already been to Junior Days at Florida and Auburn.

Being a Florida native and having that dual-threat ability, Driskel is already hearing the comparisons to one of the most famous Floridian football players — Tim Tebow. Some kids hate to be compared to past players and like to make their own name, but Driskel said he embraces the comparisons.

“I like being compared to Tim Tebow,” he said. “That’s a guy that has a great competitive mentality. He plays the game right, he’s a great leader and he’s a good person. I don’t know if I’m quite like him, but whenever I’m compared to him I like that.”

So, if he’s being compared to UF’s most decorated football player he’s certainly got some interest in the program, right? Right. Driskel said Florida has been recruiting him very hard and that he has developed a good relationship with quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler. Driskel said the two talk once or twice a week and that he’s most impressed with the players Loeffler has been able to send to the NFL.

As far as the rest of Florida’s program, Driskel said he likes the winning tradition and the fact that the Gators compete in “the best league” in the SEC. He’s also impressed with the type of athletes Florida consistently brings in on offense.

“Even if I wasn’t a Florida guy, if Florida’s coming after you that’s a big deal,” he said.

Another thing going for Florida is its baseball program. Driskel said Meyer and baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan have given him the green light to play both if he were to pick Florida. He’s a center fielder, and senior Matt den Dekker will be gone after this season.

Driskel said he’ll take five visits over the summer to colleges and wants to make a decision in either June or July.

“It’s definitely coming before the fall,” he said of his college decision. “I’m thinking early summer.”

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Comments

17 Comments

  1. March 2nd, 2010 4:19 pm

    We NEED this kid, no question about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!MEYER AND O’SULLIVAN DO YOUR THING TO GET HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Jason Coombs


  2. March 2nd, 2010 4:42 pm

    Edward, I heard up here in georgia that the kid has Auburn ties already. You really think he might come here?

    by ga gator


  3. March 2nd, 2010 4:51 pm

    Sounds as if Florida has the leg up in the Driskel sweepstakes. Me likey.

    by Tim Tracy


  4. March 2nd, 2010 6:02 pm

    I heard his grades weren’t too great….

    by rick


  5. March 2nd, 2010 6:09 pm

    I hope this kid can see that he will be good for the Gators, But being a Gator will be much better for him. I like the fact that both Meyers and O’Sullivan will allow him to develop all of his skills at Florida. I hope he sees that all of his skills will can be utilized as a Gator as long as he’s good enough to perform at this level.

    by CREEK GATOR


  6. March 2nd, 2010 6:28 pm

    Very interesting!

    by ngamtngator


  7. March 2nd, 2010 7:52 pm

    Please NO. This kid is not a very good QB. He is a headcase. Threw for under 50% completion percentage. This kid is a combine warrior and that is it. He is a TE

    by Ryan


  8. March 2nd, 2010 8:22 pm

    He sounds like a UF type QB.

    by TampaDave


  9. March 2nd, 2010 9:24 pm

    we need to recruit 2 4 or 5 star QB’s
    #1 miller out of ohio / teddy b?form N/W MIA / driskel
    one big time QB is a must

    by gator buck


  10. March 3rd, 2010 12:42 am

    Best of all, this kid sounds like he has a head on his shoulders!

    by Utah Gator


  11. March 3rd, 2010 12:18 pm

    Sounds like he is ours to lose.

    by Kevin


  12. March 3rd, 2010 3:29 pm

    He does already have some ties to Auburn. He would redshirt behind Cam Newton one year but the staff is definitely already hunting since Tyrik Rollison left. Either way, good luck to the Gators and WAR EAGLE!!

    by Andrew


  13. March 3rd, 2010 4:02 pm

    this kid grew up an auburn fan as a kid. he def has auburn ties and they were the first to jump on him. good luck getting him to go anywhere else

    by Bobby


  14. March 3rd, 2010 6:53 pm

    This kid has pretty much come out and said he likes the auburn offense and Malzahn. If Brantley looks good in the spring, he is looking else where.

    by George


  15. March 4th, 2010 9:37 am

    [...] from Florida, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Clemson.Driskel is an intriguing prospect because of his versatility on the field.“I feel like I can make all the throws on the field in the pocket or on the run,” [...]

    by Dual-Threat QB Receiving Plenty Of Attention « MrSEC.com


  16. March 4th, 2010 9:59 am

    1. Don’t care about completion rate or whatever. If Meyer likes the kid and wants him, well, end of story.

    2. Don’t believe grade rumors. Grades are private info, and nobody knows what they are other than the kid, his parents and the school, and UF, after transcripts are sent. Besides, UF doesn’t recruit kids who can’t enroll. If UF drops him for no reason and FSU starts coming on strong, THEN you can start talking grades, etc.

    3. Not worried about Auburn. That’s a situation in flux, and top flight QB’s don’t like going to programs where they don’t know if the coach will be there all 4 years. If the kid lived in Alabama, it would be different, but to leave the state for an uncertain situation when you can stay home and be in a great one would make little sense.

    by Lizardgrad89


  17. March 5th, 2010 6:52 pm

    Any kid the Florida is recruiting and recruiting hard has to be pretty good for one thing, he has to have not only skills but a mental toughness about himself. Because he knows from the start if he signs with the Gators, he better be good and beyond and ready to prove it right away. The talent thats at Florida will force you to come in with your game face on or get it handed to you and sent packing on to some second rate school. Its a simple process at Florida either you are a Gator or yeah, you are Gator Bait. Deal with it.

    by CREEK GATOR


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