From outside of the Florida Gators locker room the perception of Feleipe Franks was turbulent, to put it mildly. Franks won games, and his “heave to Cleve” will live in Florida Gator lore long after he’s done playing football.
Then there were interceptions, missed plays, tweets sent and deleted, and a very famous gesture to his own fans during a win over South Carolina. He doubled back on it and made the gesture again.
He’s grown up a lot and he’s been through a lot. His relationship with and most likely his perception from his former fan base may have softened some now that Franks is throwing passes for another team, but his former teammates miss him. Franks was a leader in the locker room and well-liked by his teammates.
Here is what each coach and player that was made available to the media said about Feleipe Franks this week.
“I think Feleipe’s a great quarterback. We had him for quite a long time, so, I’m seeing what you see out of him. A guy that has a high touchdown-to-interception ratio, really strong arm, you know. I mean, he’s a veteran player now, played in the league, so the games and moments aren’t too much for him. I know he’s playing kind of a newer offense to learn, but when you’re an older, veteran guy, I think you understand concepts, you understand coverages, you understand what’s going on out there on the field. He’s picked it up really fast, and I think he’s having a great year. But I wouldn’t have expected anything less than that from him, and, you know, the Feleipe I know.”
“I know Feleipe’s a great competitor. He wants to come in here and beat my butt, beat everybody on the team’s butt, you know what I mean, and that’s what competitors want to do – and he’s a competitor, so he’s going to want to do it. But it’s not going to change the relationships or how you feel about each other when you’re out there on the field you get that competitive edge to you that you want to win. He’s that type of deal. I’m happy for him. The whole thing came down to: I want to make sure I’m on the field playing next year. And here he is having a great season. That’s what you want, so I’m really happy for him. I’m happy for how it’s working out for him. But I know, I mean, I want to go compete, I want to beat his butt on Saturday. That’s what we want to do. That’s what competitors do.”
“I think he came in, I think before we got here and everything he had a rough go of it, with the fan base, with everything going on. He came in and took a four-win team and led ‘em to a New Year’s Six bowl victory and a top-10 finish and he helped the turnaround of the program to make that happen. I think, you know, it’s a foundation of a guy that came in and took a bad situation and turned it into a really good one and helped build a foundation and put Florida back to where everyone expects Florida to be as a top-10, national program.”
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback Coach Brian Johnson
“Really proud of him. Feleipe is like family to me. I love him to death so really excited for him. I know he’s probably excited to get back here and get the chance to play in the Swamp, so he’s done a great job all year long. He’s had those guys playing some really good football.” Read from source….