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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Wilton Jackson

Florida Will Start Wisconsin Transfer Graham Mertz at QB vs. Utah

Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz will be Florida’s starting quarterback when it begins the 2023 season, according to On3 Sports’ Nick de la Torre.

As Gators head coach Billy Napier enters Year 2 in Gainesville, he will rely on the former Badger to serve as Anthony Richardson’s replacement. Mertz spent four seasons in Wisconsin, completing 59.5% of his passes and throwing for 5,405 yards, 38 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.

Mertz’s best campaign was in 2022, when he threw for more than 2,100 yards and tossed 19 touchdowns, 10 interceptions while completing 57.3% of his passes. Mertz had been in a battle for the starting role during summer practices this year with former Ohio State quarterback Jack Miller.

Miller saw limited playing time as Richardson’s backup last season, throwing for 281 yards and completing 55.6% of his passes. However, Mertz’s experience at the helm of the Badgers played a big part in Napier’s decision to name him the Gators’ starter in Week 1.

“Graham’s [Mertz] a 32-start player, he’s played over 2,000 snaps at a really established program in Wisconsin and we went through an extensive process to make that decision,” Napier said, per “… This guy has an incredible work ethic, he is in the building and he is fanatical about his preparation.”

Florida will begin the 2023 campaign on Aug. 31 against Utah.

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