It’s a big season ahead for second-year coach Billy Napier and the Florida Gators. On Friday, Napier decided that Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz was the guy to lead the program into the season.
They will be hoping for a better season than last year. Despite having third-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft Anthony Richardson under center, the Gators went 6-7 and just 3-5 in the SEC.
With Richardson off to the NFL, the competition was between the former Badger, Ohio State transfer Jack Miller III, and Max Brown. After just over a week of practice, Graham Mertz had won the job.
Florida coach Billy Napier announces Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz will be Gators' starting QB at Utah on Aug. 31
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 11, 2023
The Kansas native came into Wisconsin with huge hopes as the highest-rated quarterback recruit in program history. And, he got off to a hot start early in his career. But, he was marred by inconsistency in his time in Madison, finishing his career with 38 touchdown passes and 26 interceptions. His fourth quarter meltdown against Notre Dame in 2021 was a true lowlight.
But, he does have talent, and Florida fans have to hope that Graham Mertz plays his best football this year like Bo Nix did to Oregon last year.
But, college football fans are largely unconvinced.
UF got Kentucky backup plan as QB1 tells you how far uk has came as football program
— James Willis (@JamesWi11047973) August 12, 2023
maybe next season florida
— Sports Talk Drew 🍀 (@SportsTalkDrew) August 12, 2023
It's not gonna get any easier for Gator fans, is it? Poor folks.
— Hayden Kmett (@hkmett51) August 12, 2023
Might as well hang it up for the season
— NUK SZN (@Benjarvusfan) August 11, 2023
Hard to see a program fall so hard
— Life is full of important choices (@bringR_of_rain) August 11, 2023
3 wins max
— H.D.A. (@HammerDrillAuto) August 11, 2023
And, that’s not really me cherry-picking reactions. It’s hard to find many positive Graham Mertz takes.
We will get a good idea of how he will play in a Florida Gators jersey pretty early on, as they open the season at defending PAC 12 champions Utah