University of Florida

Del Rio named UF’s starting quarterback

The redshirt sophomore quarterback Luke Del Rio, and son of Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, will take the opening snap against Massachusetts on Sept. 3 when the Gators ring in the 2016 season.
The redshirt sophomore quarterback Luke Del Rio, and son of Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, will take the opening snap against Massachusetts on Sept. 3 when the Gators ring in the 2016 season. AP

Jim McElwain has found his quarterback.

And as has been expected since Florida’s spring game, it’s redshirt sophomore Luke Del Rio.

The redshirt sophomore quarterback and son of Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio will take the opening snap against Massachusetts on Sept. 3 when the Gators ring in the 2016 season. He’ll be the Gators eighth starting quarterback since Tim Tebow’s final season in 2009.

“Luke is going to work as the starter the rest of camp and start in the season opener barring any unforeseen development,’’ McElwain said in a statement Thursday. “Our other quarterbacks remain in the plans and are ready to move forward and help the Gators any way they can.”

Del Rio had been the frontrunner throughout all of spring camp despite splitting first-team reps with graduate transfer Austin Appleby.

The 6-1, 211-pound Del Rio, who came to UF from Oregon State via Alabama, shined in the Gators’ annual spring scrimmage, completing 10 of his 11 passes for 176 yards and two passing touchdowns.

Despite Del Rio’s success in the spring and through the early part of fall camp, McElwain kept the competition open, with Appleby and true freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask also in the mix.

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