Florida Gators Jul 20, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; The Florida Gators helmet on the stage during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators had a big decision to make at the quarterback position with star quarterback Anthony Richardson departing for the NFL. And head coach Billy Napier made that decision on who will be their starter on Friday.

Florida brought in a number of transfers at the position to battle for the starting job. But the starting job came down to Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz and returning quarterback Jack Miller III, who had previously transferred to Florida from Ohio State in 2022.

Napier made his decision on Friday, and Graham Mertz will reportedly be the Week 1 starter for Florida against the Utah Utes.

It isn’t all that surprising of a decision considering Mertz has far and away the most starting experience of anyone on the Florida roster.

Mertz has started each of the last two seasons at Wisconsin, most recently throwing for 2,136 yards to go along with 19 touchdowns and ten interceptions last year.

These numbers aren’t all that spectacular, and there are certainly some out there that believe that Florida could struggle with Graham Mertz at the helm.

On paper, it looks like a huge downgrade from a player like Richardson, who was selected No. 4 in the 2023 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

However, Richardson’s stats actually weren’t all that spectacular, and his early NFL draft selection was largely based more on his athletic upside rather than his collegiate performance.

Mertz also is coming from a far less dynamic offense at Wisconsin last season. While Mertz deserves some blame for that, we could potentially see him succeed in a different scheme with SEC-level talent around him at Florida.

[On3 Sports]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.