Florida commit Driskel embraces Tebow comparisons

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OVIEDO, FLA. (AP) - Jeff Driskel’s size and strength at quarterback naturally lends people to think of Tim Tebow, and the comparisons have only been magnified playing high school in the Sunshine State.

Just wait until college.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound quarterback already has committed to Florida, and he plans to enroll early next year to get a head start on the competition with the Gators _ No. 4 in the Top 25 preseason poll.

In a perfect world, Driskel will succeed John Brantley, who has the unenviable task this season of replacing Tebow. So maybe being the guy-after-the-guy who supplants Tebow will be a little less stressful for Driskel.

Then again, maybe not.

“If Brantley goes out there and lights it up, I don’t think it will be any easier,” said Driskel, who is on The Associated Press South Region 25 list of top recruits. “The expectations at Florida are to win titles every season, and the pressure is on the quarterback even more these days.”

Driskel threw for 1,427 yards and 11 touchdowns last season for Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Fla. He make lack the mammoth statistics and the wins _ the Huskies have won just five games in their first three years as a program _ of an elite recruit, but scouts believe he has the mold of a college quarterback.

Combine his rough and rugged style on the ground with a strong throwing arm, he also has the makeup of that recent Heisman Trophy winner at Florida, too.

“It’s enough pressure being the quarterback at Florida, but Jeff knows full well he will have to deal with the comparisons to Tebow,” said Hagerty coach Nate Gierke.

Driskel didn’t wait until signing day to chose Florida.

Sure, he was raised mostly in central Florida, also lived in Jacksonville and even Japan _ between ages 8-10 _ while his father, Jerry, was stationed there in the Navy. Driskel never really had time to root for any particular college.

Even though his family will only be about a 90-minute drive away from home games, that was never really a major factor in his decision.

“His goal is to make it the NFL,” Jerry Driskel said. “Florida is the program he believes will help get him there.”

In the meantime, Driskel has to listen to the Tebow comparisons.

Every national camp or combine he travels to, players and scouts always ask him questions relating his game to Florida’s former quarterback. For his part, Driskel doesn’t mind the comparisons.

Tim Tebow won a Heisman Trophy, he won two national titles and is a first-round pick,” Driskel said. “If people want to compare me to that, I’m honored. I’m not Tebow, but I hope I have a college career just as good as his.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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