GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Jeff Driskel led Florida to an 11-1 record, road victories at Florida State, Tennessee and Texas A&M, and a berth in the Sugar Bowl.
But there is still a segment of fans that was hoping Jacoby Brissett would have the chance to win the job back next season. Coach Will Muschamp said that's not going to happen. There isn't any scenario -- barring an injury -- in which Driskel won't go into the 2013 season as the starting quarterback.
"First-year starter, you win 11 games, you've accomplished an awful lot," Muschamp said. "Certainly, his legs and us being able to stay multiple in the run game because of what he was able to do [was] the way I kind of saw things as we evolved through training camp.
"Certainly, his growth through the offseason will be critical for our success next season."
Muschamp's declaration creates an interesting numbers game at quarterback next season, mainly because of Muschamp's philosophy of signing a quarterback every year. The Gators could potentially have five scholarship quarterbacks on the roster if no one transfers or changes positions.
The most likely candidate for a transfer is Brissett, who, like Driskel, will be a junior in 2013. The accepted premise is that Brissett will transfer so he can get a chance to be a starter, but Muschamp said he believes Brissett will be back next season. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease didn't sound so sure earlier this month when he was asked about it.
"I don't know [if Brissett will stay at UF]," Pease said. "It depends, I guess, on his commitment to Florida. I support the kid."
If Brissett stays, he would be Driskel's top backup. But the Gators also would have redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg and redshirt junior Tyler Murphy on scholarship. If commit Max Staver (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) signs, the Gators will have five on scholarship.
Murphy and Mornhinweg are candidates to change positions (most likely to wide receiver), but if Brissett did transfer, Mornhinweg would likely remain at quarterback to back up Driskel in case of injury. Staver is almost guaranteed to redshirt if Brissett remains.
Signing a quarterback every year is a sound policy. Evaluating quarterbacks is one of the hardest things to do, and sometimes it's not until a player gets on campus that a coach really knows what he has. It doesn't create a significant logjam, either.
The numbers are interesting for next year, but there's always attrition, whether it's transfers or players leaving school, or position changes. Jordan Reed, for example, signed as a quarterback, but is just finishing his second season as a tight end. So the situation always seems to work out.
It just takes a little time for the dust to clear. But one thing is certain: Driskel is UF's starter.