Del Rio, the son of Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, on Thursday was named the starting quarterback for the Florida Gators. The 6-foot-1, 213-pounder originally entered the college ranks as a walk-on at Alabama in 2013, then transferred to Oregon State in 2014 before transferring for a final time to Florida.
Del Rio may have won the job, but expectations at Florida haven't lowered. Florida has run through nine different placeholder quarterbacks since Tim Tebow left for the National Football League after the 2009 season, and McElwain is hopeful that Del Rio can finally bring some stability to the position. Last season's primary quarterbacks, Will Grier and Treon Harris, both transferred during the offseason.
Del Rio has bounced around, as well.
Del Rio, a redshirt sophomore, beat out fifth-year senior transfer Austin Appleby from Purdue for the starting position.
Although Del Rio's arm may not be as strong as Appleby's - and he isn't the same type of threat in the run game - his ability to anticipate defensive plays and make pre-snap reads is one of his greatest attributes.
The Gators and Minutemen meet up at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 3. What we will soon learn, is if he possess the ability to push the ball down the field vertically to Antonio Callaway and whether he has enough playmaking ability to keep the Gators atop of the East division. Del Rio was the clear front-runner for the starting role after closing spring practice with a 10-for-11 performance with two touchdown passes in the Gators' annual Orange and Blue game. The Florida passing game took a significant step back in 2015 after Grier's suspension.