The Athletic looks at who’s in, who’s out for Florida at QB

Florida football has a steep hill to climb in 2023 coming off its second-straight losing season after swapping out Dan Mullen for Billy Napier at head coach. Making matters worse, the Gators had one of the best quarterbacks available in the 2023 NFL draft and were still unable to maximize his potential en route to a sub-.500 finish.

Compounding the problem is the lack of incoming talent under center to take over for standout QB Anthony Richardson. The onus of the burden has fallen on the shoulders of a pair of transfers — Jack Miller III (Ohio State Buckeyes) and Graham Mertz (Wisconsin Badgers). Neither looked impressive during the program’s annual Orange and Blue game intrasquad scrimmage, both lacking distance and timing on their throws.

The Athletic’s staff writer Grace Raynor recently surveyed the Southeastern Conference’s ongoing quarterback carousel, including the merry-go-round spinning about in Gainesville. Here is what she has to offer on Florida’s situation under center.

The Gators have their quarterback of the future already committed in five-star 2024 prospect DJ Lagway, but the interim doesn’t feel as promising. Fans weren’t thrilled when former Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz transferred in after completing just 57.3 percent of his passes in 2022. He’s got more experience, though, than redshirt sophomore Jack Miller, who transferred in last season from Ohio State. Miller suffered a thumb injury and did not make his Florida debut until a lopsided 30-3 Las Vegas Bowl loss to Oregon State after starter Anthony Richardson opted out ahead of the NFL Draft.

Redshirt freshman Max Brown, also on the baseball team, is the third quarterback on scholarship. Brown, the Oklahoma District 3-3A MVP as a high school senior, did not play as a redshirt in 2022. One player not on the roster: four-star 2023 QB Jaden Rashada, who had a falling out with a Florida collective and ended up at Arizona State.

The Gators open up their 2023 schedule on the road against the Utah Utes on Aug. 31, with the start time still to be determined.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire