Florida Team News

Luke Del Rio named Florida’s starting quarterback, so now what?

Luke Del Rio 2016 spring game
LOGAN BOWLES/USA TODAY SPORTS

Florida coach Jim McElwain named Luke Del Rio the Gators’ starting quarterback last Thursday after practice.

Brady Ackerman began this week’s “Florida Gator Podcast” presented by Stonewood Grill and Tavern, Peach Valley Cafe and Murray Automotive Group by asking Shane Matthews what is next for Del Rio.

Matthews, a former star quarterback for the Gators, says Del Rio needs to simply focus on his job and try to be a leader. Matthews also addressed a recent GN story.

"There was that report a couple weeks ago from an anonymous couch who said Luke Del Rio is not a starting quarterback in the SEC," Matthews said. "Time will tell; he's yet to start a game.

"I don't think he's a guy that going to 'wow' anybody, but he just needs to keep managing the team, going out and doing his job and not try to do too much."

Ackerman continued by taking a look at areas of improvement for Del Rio, mentioning completion percentage and first-down completions.

Matthews knows Del Rio is susceptible to mistakes, but still thinks he has a chance to flourish.

"Can the play-caller trust the quarterback to make good decisions?" Matthews said. "He's not going to play perfect. He's going to make mistakes, he's going to throw interceptions. That's just part of the job, but can (offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier) rely on him to be a consistent player?"

Matthews is sure about one thing with the new starting quarterback: "I think you'll see the Florida offense take shots with Luke Del Rio when we're at midfield, maybe a change of possession after a bad punt by the opponent or a turnover."

What advice does Matthews, a two-time SEC MVP, have for the Gators' starter?

"He's got a good team around him," Matthews said. "He's got a great head coach that understands offensive football. He just needs to go out and not try to do too much, let the playmakers around him help him be successful."

RELATED: Is Florida being overlooked in the race for the SEC East?

(You can follow Brady Ackerman on Twitter @BradyAck)

© 2016, Brady Ackerman. All rights reserved.

© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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