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Coach says once quarterback Feleipe Franks blocked out “noise” Gators got a lot better

Benny Snell talked to his mom after last year’s win over Florida.  The Cats will host Florida Sept. 14 in this year’s third game. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky ended a 31-year losing streak to Florida last year with a win in Gainesville but the Gators went on to win 10 games and finish the season ranked in the top 10. They go into this season ranked higher than UK but will be in Lexington Sept. 14 to play the Cats.

During SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., Monday, Florida coach Dan Mullen talked about the improvement of quarterback Feleipe Franks.

Q. Coach Mullen, you’ve done a great job developing quarterbacks during your time at Mississippi State and with the Gators. What did you think Feleipe Franks improved — what aspect of his game do you think improved the most last year?

DAN MULLEN: “I think as the year went on, he understood what his abilities were and he decided to use all of his talents. I think a light came on that I’m 6’6”, 245 pounds and pretty athletic. If they’re going to completely empty the middle of the field and I can run into the end zone from 20 yards away untouched, I can do that.

“And I think when he bought in to using all of his skill set to play, and not trying to limit himself or not trying to worry really about what everybody else thought, he was going to be a better player, and he did that. I think he started to block out all of the outside noise, all of the other opinions. I told him, I said: If you think — if you know of all of these other opinions that are out there of how to play the quarterback position, if there’s someone better than Brian Johnson, let me know, I’ll hire them to be our quarterback coach. But I think he’s a pretty darn good quarterback coach. I have some pretty good experience developing quarterbacks as well. But, Feleipe, if you think everybody on Twitter is much better at that, to coach, just let us know, we’ll look at them as being the quarterback coach.

“So I think once he was able to block out all of the things out, all of the outside noise, and really look at his skill set, what he does well, he was able to improve, and I think that helped build his confidence and improved his performance on the field. I thought he took huge strides this spring as well of doing that, of now not just understanding himself but how to use his skill set and better understanding of making plays within the offensive system.”

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