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Troupe Talk: Feleipe Franks

By Ben Troupe
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Feleipe is my quarterback. He is a good player with a lot of football left in him and he has more than lived up to the Gator Standard.

Four years ago, a young man from Crawfordville, Florida, who happened to be a 5-star recruit named Feleipe Franks, decided to take his talents to Gainesville and play for my Florida Gators.

He got recruited by then-head coach Jim McElwain, a man renowned for his high powered offenses. The only problem was, Coach Mac didn’t have the quarterback to run it. In steps Feleipe.

Franks was going to be the one to take Florida’s offense to the next level. All signs were trending upward when Franks won the starting job his redshirt freshman year, and Gator Nation was on the edge of its seat to get a glimpse of the future.

Franks didn't have his best year when he first took over the reigns, but he showed a lot of promise with occasional flashes of brilliance. Sound the band for Franks to Cleveland.

Then comes Coach Dan Mullen who simply said that Franks didn't have to be a great runner, simply a willing runner. Boy was he willing. After a year under McElwain, Mullen definitely brought out the best in Franks, who helped orchestrate come from behind victories like Vandy on the road, LSU at home, and a big ‘W’ in Starkville, while also ending the bowl streak for Florida State.

The icing on the cake for Franks was the Peach Bowl where he put his full game on display for the world to see, in Atlanta, while thrashing Michigan and taking home Offensive MVP honors. In 2018, Feleipe helped Florida end the season in the top 10 with a 10-3 record, while joining the prestigious 24/7 club (24 TD passes and 7 rushing scores in a single season).

Franks is a bad man. He was 2-0 this year and looking to go 3-0 until his season was cut short due to a gruesome leg injury.

Let me cut to the chase: Feleipe is my quarterback. He has grown up in life, and on the field, through adversity. He is a good player with a lot of football left in him and he has more than lived up to the Gator Standard. He has shown to be a proven leader, and an even better teammate. Feleipe isn't emotional, he plays with a lot of emotion. There’s a difference.

He doesn't care so much about the critics. It’s just that when he speaks, everybody listens, and unfortunately, since we all have an opinion, we all seem to want to give it as it pertains to him.

Feleipe Franks could have chosen anywhere in the country to play football but I am so glad, and thankful, that he chose Florida. Say you want about this dude, but he’s got heart, he is a fierce competitor, and he will scratch and claw for every inch -- literally putting his body on the line for his team.

Feleipe is a guy I would go play with any day of the week because he loves the game and, more importantly, he loves the Gators. Get well soon, King. I can’t wait to see you back out there.

By the way, to you analysts who are trying to boost your ratings or update your profile by saying crazy things for that ‘ah-hah’ moment, please do yourself a favor and don't make things up about players fictional off the field troubles when there aren't any. Just stick to the facts.

Go Gators. Orange and blue skies for life.

Ben Troupe - Troupe played tight end for the Florida Gators from 2000-2003, and earned first-team All-SEC recognition and first-team All-American honors from ESPN, Rivals and Sports Illustrated as a senior. After a standout college career, Troupe was selected 40th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft, the first pick of the Tennessee Titans that spring. Currently, Troupe is a representative for the NFL Ambassadors via the College Outreach Program and the USA Football Youth and High School Program while also serving as an assistant master trainer for Head's Up coaching initiative. Troupe can be heard on ESPN Coastal's "Three & Out" with B.J. Bennett and Kevin Thomas.