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SI High School Player of the Week - Football

October 26, 2010

Jeff Driskel

Position:

Quarterback

School:

Hagerty High

Location:

Oviedo, Fla.

Height:

6-4

Weight:

225

Class:

Senior

Season Highlights:

The strong-armed, dual-threat quarterback has thrown for 1,205 yards and 10 touchdowns, while rushing for 881 yards and 13 scores. He has committed to Florida and Gator Nation eagerly awaits his arrival.

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Posted: Tuesday October 26, 2010 1:17PM ; Updated: Tuesday October 26, 2010 4:24PM

Florida recruit Jeff Driskel remains grounded

By Ben Glicksman, SI.com

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When watching prized Florida recruit Jeff Driskel play quarterback for Hagerty High, it's tempting to compare him to Tim Tebow. He sees himself as a different breed.

"I think I play a lot like Aaron Rodgers," he says. "When it looks like there's gonna be a sack I can keep the play alive and make a throw downfield."

That's appropriate because Driskel resembles the Packers' signal-caller in more ways than one. His lethal right arm has a knack for torching opposing defenses, and at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds he is difficult to bring down. But Driskel can do something Rodgers can't; he runs a 4.55 40.

That potent skill set has college coaches from across the nation drooling, though Driskel verbally committed to Florida last April. The decision was primarily between the Gators and Auburn, with Urban Meyer's squad getting the nod for their glittering reputation both on and off the field.

"It's a great academic school," Driskel says. "They have a great football program. They're always gonna have the best athletes and they're always gonna be competitors. It just seemed like too much to turn down."

Gator Nation is thrilled about their new addition, and the buzz surrounding him is tremendous. He's passed for 1,205 yards and 10 touchdowns while rushing for another 881 yards and 13 scores in his senior season. He's ranked the top prospect at his position on Rivals.com and second on Scout.com. Last Friday, Driskel carried Hagerty to a dramatic 30-27 upset of rival Oviedo High, compiling 346 total yards and four touchdowns. It'd be easy to anoint him as the next Gator great.

But he's not letting his ego get the best of him. He's committed to leading his 5-3 team -- which finished 2-8 last year -- to a Florida 5A District 3 playoff berth. He's also heeding his parents' advice to stay grounded, something he cites as one of his biggest motivations.

"If you're not humble, you're gonna start not working as hard," he says. "If you don't work as hard, you're not gonna play well."

That was his mentality this offseason, when he attended various recruiting camps to develop his game and hone his fundamentals. His biggest maturation, however, may have come in the locker room.

"Before I was a passive guy, lead-by-example," he says. "I kind of changed and I've been more of a vocal leader. People are gonna look up to me on the team, and sometimes there needs to be things that are said either positively or negatively. This year I've stepped up."

That assertiveness could prove crucial early in his collegiate career, as the Gator depth chart sports only a group of unproven freshmen behind junior starter John Brantley. Come his sophomore year, he could be thrown into the national spotlight, tasked with leading an SEC powerhouse that's won a BCS bowl game three of the past four seasons.

For now, he's taking it all in stride. He's remaining modest, playing down his accomplishments that have been so hyped up.

"There's nothing too spectacular about me," he says, before adding, "Just football."

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