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Gators will face top quarterbacks in 2018 season

The Gainesville Sun, Fla. — Pat Dooley The Gainesville Sun, Fla.

May 16--Nobody knows for sure if Florida will have a strong quarterback this year. Nobody knows who will even start the opener or who will be under center when SEC play begins.

What we are pretty sure of is that the Gators will face some really good quarterbacks this season. We're not 100-percent sure because two of the five best they will go up against are coming off injuries.

And there's no telling what will happen to them physically this year.

But here at the Daily Football Fix, we came up with a list of the five best quarterbacks Florida will face this season.

1. Drew Lock, Missouri: Lock is a guy who has a chance to be a high NFL first-round draft pick after finishing last season with a flourish. One reason -- his performance against Florida in Columbia, Mo.

In that game, Lock was 15-of-20 for 228 yards and three touchdowns in a Missouri rout of a team that just had its head coach fired.

The year before? Not so good. He was 4-of-18 for 39 yards with two picks that went to the house.

As a freshman, Lock was 16-of-39 for 151 yards and two picks, one of them for a score. So in three games, he has accounted for three touchdowns for each team.

But the Lock Florida will see this year is a polished passer with a strong arm. It will be quite a test for DBU.

2. Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State: Dan Mullen created this monster and now he has to go up against it on the road. Although he was limited in the spring after an ankle injury knocked him out at the end of last season, he is expected to be full go by the time the season begins.

He was the only player in the SEC to be in the top 10 in passing and rushing and -- with a new offense -- is expected to throw more deep balls this year.

Last year, Fitzgerald passed for 1,782 yards and ran for 984.

3. Jake Fromm, Georgia: Recruitniks will tell you Fromm could lose his job to incoming freshman Justin Fields. Barring an injury, don't count on it.

Fromm's stats are meaningless. All you need to know is he had Georgia one play away from a national title as a freshman.

He may be asked to do more this year. He's up to it.

4. Jake Bentley, South Carolina: The Gamecocks have a new, more up-tempo offense and Bentley appears perfectly suited for it.

Last year, he passed for 2,555 yards and 16 TDs despite losing his best receiver early in the year in Deebo Samuel. Samuel is back and Bentley appears poised to have a big year.

5. FSU's quarterback: It could be Deondre Francois, who was lost for the season to a torn patella in the opener, or James Blackman, who beat UF in Gainesville. Either way, FSU is in good shape at the position with two players who have big-game experience.

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(c)2018 The Gainesville Sun, Fla.

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