Every year, I tend to create a mental note of players who should consider transferring. Usually it's because they're a former blue chip prospect stuck on a depth chart behind an equally talented player on the same graduation class. Sometimes, it's just a student-athlete who's not maximizing his offensive potential in a particular scheme. The latter category is the one Jeff Driskel slips into. I'm sure Driskel loves the University of Florida, but as he's learned over the last few weeks, U of F fans don't love him back.
He couldn't be a worse fit for Florida's offense. Will Muschamp can coach his butt off on defense, but he's oblivious to the offense. That's where his offensive coordinators come in. For one season in 2011, it was Charlie Weis. Since 2012, Brent Pease has been the brains of that side of their operation. On the final play of his junior season, Driskel fittingly threw a pick-six from the pocket.
It later turns out that after getting hit on the pass, he'd broken his leg. The Gators will most likely look to grant him a medical redshirt. If that's the case, he will be eligible next season and in 2015. Driskel should take advantage by searching for a change in scenery even if Muschamp takes the Texas gig. Driskel's been disputing transfer rumors since his freshman season. Now may be time to read the tea leaves and surrender to his fate.
Last season, the Gators boasted the SEC's worst passing attack. This season was more of the same. It doesn't seem like his luck will change next season either.
As long as Muschamp and Pease are trying to shoehorn him into a pro-set offense, he'll always wriggle helplessly like a fish on carpet. Urban Meyer recruited him to run the spread-option. The former U.S. High School All-American needs a scheme of that ilk to thrive. Pease has failed to find an offensive spark at any of the previous stops in his coaching career. Florida's been no different and Driskel's college career is collateral damage.
He's ran for just 38 yards this season despite being one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the SEC. Florida doesn't need to turn into Georgia Tech, but something more imaginative that gets Driskel out of the pocket would be beneficial. His decision-making from there is lousy and since losing receiver Andre Debose to a torn ACL before the season, opposing cornerbacks have been Driskel's preferred targets. I'm not saying Florida should use strong arm tactics to send a message, but for the sake of his college football career, it wouldn't hurt for Driskel to look out for himself.
There won't be many blue skies ahead for him at Florida. When Driskel does return, it may not be as a starter for the Gators.
Pease's offense has never allowed Driskel to fully showcase his running ability. Either Pease takes the same walk as Texas' Manny Diaz after the season out the door or Driskel gets well soon enough to walk towards those greener pastures.