Florida football recruiting: Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz commits to Gators out of transfer portal

Former Wisconsin quarterback Graham Martz announced Wednesday that he is moving to Florida after four seasons with the Badgers. It happened when the Gators realized they needed a proven player for the position after deciding to declare the NFL Draft.

Mertz is expected to be eligible for the remaining two seasons after throwing for 5,405 yards, 38 touchdowns and 26 interceptions during his time with the Badgers. The former four-star prospect has served as Wisconsin’s primary starter for the last three seasons with mixed results. The program posted a 19-13 record in its span, and he announced on December 4 that he plans to transfer as he transitions coaching of the program to Luke Fickel.

Wisconsin has ranked 112th, 120th, and 108th in passing offense over the past three seasons as the program prioritized a run-heavy, defensive-minded style during Mertz’s tenure. Florida has not been pass-happy in its first season under manager Billy Napier, with dynamic playmakers in quarterback Richardson and solid young running backs Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne . But the Gators are pitching more often than Wisconsin and want to pitch even more.

It’s an interesting decision to bring Martz to quarterback, but the position is unlikely to bring any philosophy to the Gators. fit in defense. Mertz, on the other hand, has -21 rushing yards in his career, the definition of a traditional pocket passer, and his career completion percentage is 59.5%, just short of Richardson’s 54.7% mark. is higher than

Florida QB situation

As a power-five football veteran, Mertz should have an edge in this battle, but there will be fierce competition for the job. Five-star quarterback prospect Jayden Rashada signed with the Gators on Wednesday and is a future signal-caller for the team.The Pittsburgh, Calif.-based product is the overall for his 2023 class by 247Sports. It ranks 29th in terms of good prospects and looks like it has a bright future.

Jack Miller III, a former four-star prospect from Ohio State, is also on the team’s 2022 roster. He made his first college start and saw his first action for Florida at the Las Vegas Bowl, where UF managed a field goal. At the very least, Mertz is the Gators’ quarterback insurance policy in case the staff doesn’t feel comfortable playing Rashada too soon to rush his development.

quarterback domino

Mertz’s commitment to Florida continues the game of quarterback dominoes that took place during this recruitment cycle.Martz was first associated with Kentucky, but the Wildcats got a commitment From former North Carolina quarterback Devin Leary. Former Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall has also reportedly emerged as a potential option for the Gators. Ultimately, with Martz, Florida acquired a veteran yet overwhelming veteran.

Other transferring quarterbacks such as Leary and Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong may have caused more excitement among Florida fans. It should be a great cushion in that position as it adapts to the college game.

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