Where ESPN ranks Florida football’s QB room ahead of 2024

ESPN’s David Hale released his rankings for all 134 FBS quarterback rooms divided into tiers ahead of the 2024 campaign on Tuesday. In it, he placed the Florida Gators — headlined by Graham Mertz and DJ Lagway — into Tier5a, which also happens to be the same spot they were heading into 2023.

“We’re still in the very early stages of properly evaluating the impact of the transfer portal on QB play around the country, but last year’s numbers tell a pretty clear story,” Hale begins.

“There were 113 FBS quarterbacks who started at least eight games. That group can be separated into three distinct categories: homegrown talent, first-year transfers and transfers who had been on campus for more than one season.

You will notice a stark difference between the three categories in the data below:

  • Homegrown talent (48 QBs): 60.0 Total QBR, 61.9% completions, 2.2-to-1; TD:TO ratio, 6.8 yards per dropback

  • First-year transfers (36 QBs): 58.1 Total QBR, 62.1% completions, 1.9-to-1; TD:TO ratio, 6.4 yards per dropback

  • Multiyear transfers (29 QBs): 70.0 Total QBR, 65% completions, 3-to-1; TD:TO ratio, 7.4 yards per dropback

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets’ Haynes King and Zach Pyron, Virginia Tech Hokies’ Kyron Drones and Collin Schlee, and Oklahoma State Cowboys’ Alan Bowman and Garret Rangel also joined the Orange and Blue in the tier.

This contradicts Pro Football Focus‘ outlook on Florida’s QB corps, which it ranked No. 7 in the country at the end of spring.

Florida opens up its 2024 regular-season schedule in the Swamp against the Miami Hurricanes on Aug. 31. Kickoff time is slated for 3:30 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on ABC Sports.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire