NCAA Football: Florida Spring Game

Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks and teammates huddle up during the second quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field.

Florida’s Feleipe Franks has said on several occasions that he hopes to eventually develop into one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. If that doesn’t work out, he may have another avenue into professional sports.

Baseball.

Franks, a redshirt junior, has signed with the Boston Red Sox for $40,000, according to a report in the Boston Globe. This does not impact his eligibility at Florida.

Franks was drafted by the Red Sox in the 31st round with the 947 overall selection back in June. At the time, Franks said, “I’m flattered that the Red Sox picked me. However, I’m living out my dream being the quarterback of the Florida Gators. We’re all working extremely hard this offseason and I cannot wait to hit the field this fall.”

Franks was drafted by Boston as a pitching prospect. He has not pitched since his junior year in high school.

Franks apparently has no plans to pursue a professional baseball career at this time and will continue to focus on football. But he could end up giving pro baseball a shot if his NFL dreams aren’t realized.

If he ends up playing his way into the NFL, then he may never join the Red Sox, who hold his MLB rights. He has expressed interest in coming to spring training in 2020 and pursuing a pitching career down the road.

After the draft, Franks stepped on a mound for the first time in five years and, according to sports writer Nick de la Torre of Gator Country, threw a 94 mph pitch.

Franks isn’t the first Florida quarterback drafted by a Major League team.

Doug Johnson played two years of professional baseball in the Tampa Bay system in the mid-’90s. He ended up turning his focus to football at UF and went on to have a seven-year NFL career with five different teams.

Jeff Driskel was drafted by the Red Sox in 2013, but never pursued baseball. He’s currently in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals.

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