Florida quarterback Graham Mertz is returning to Gainesville for his super senior season, he announced earlier this week.
Mertz transferred from Wisconsin to Florida last offseason and was the Gators’ starter before suffering an injury in Florida’s late November loss at Missouri. The 6-foot-3 pocket pass completed 73% of his passes for 2,903 yards, 20 touchdowns and three interceptions in his lone season in Gainesville.
Mertz enters the 2024 season as one of college football’s most experienced quarterbacks. The Kansas native will be a sixth year senior after starting three seasons at Wisconsin and one season at Florida. The Gators returning their starting quarterback for another season is a big win due to the lack of depth behind Mertz.
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Florida coach Billy Napier enters his third season in Gainesville on the hot seat. The Gators are just 11-14 (6-10 SEC) in Napier’s two seasons atop the Florida program including a disappointing 2023 campaign that saw the Gators miss a bowl game.
The challenge doesn’t get any easier for Napier and the Gators next season. Florida’s 2024 schedule is loaded including matchups against Miami, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida State, LSU and Texas.
The Gators will reportedly travel to Knoxville on Oct. 12 in the latest matchup between the two schools since the September 11th attacks pushed the game back to December in 2001. Napier split his first two meetings with Josh Heupel and the Vols in his Florida tenure.