Late last week, Florida head coach Jim McElwain announced that redshirt sophomore Luke Del Rio would be the starting quarterback for the season opener against UMass on Sept. 3. The news came as little surprise -- Del Rio was the favorite to win the job after spring practice and the spring scrimmage after he when he went 10-for-11 for 176 yards and two touchdowns in the Orange & Blue Debut in April. Del Rio walked onto the team last season -- he sat out in 2015 after transferring from Oregon State.
As it turns out, according to SEC Country, Del Rio is the first walk-on to earn the starting job in 19 years. The last guy to walk-on and win the job was Noah Brindise, who walked on 1994, and backed up Heisman-winner Danny Wuerffel until Steve Spurrier offered him a scholarship in 1996.
During his redshirt senior season in 1997, he took over for true freshman quarterback Jesse Palmer in the second half at Auburn, leading Florida to a 24-10 victory. He would continue the season splitting time with sophomore quarterback Doug Johnson, and the two knocked off No. 1 Florida State 32-29.
Given that Del Rio is named the starter before the season even starts, he'll likely be able to have a better handle on things than Brindise did coming in during the middle of the season. Congrats to Del Rio on breaking the trend of walk-on quarterbacks.
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