Help for the Florida offense is on the way in the form of a quarterback with college experience.
According to a report by Gold and Black of Rivals.com, the Gators will add former Purdue quarterback Austin Appleby as a graduate transfer this Spring. He will have one year remaining of eligibility.
— Landon Watnick (@LandonWatnick) January 4, 2016
Appleby stands at 6-foot-5 and 239 pounds. In three seasons for the Boilmakers, Appleby threw for 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions with a 55.3 completion percentage. He also has nine rushing touchdowns in his career.
— Austin Appleby (@AAppleby12) January 5, 2016
While he may not be penciled in to take control of the Florida offense from day one, the addition creates some depth and competition to a struggling position. Despite making to the SEC Championship, the Gator offense finished the season 8th in the SEC in passing yards per game (207.1) as shaky quarterback play was evident since the suspension of then-Gator quarterback Will Grier.
Sophomore quarterback Treon Harris struggled down the stretch to end the season and will seemingly have to battle for his starting position come this Spring. In Florida’s last three game (losses to Florida State, Alabama, and Michigan), Harris completed only 43% of his passes with only one touchdown and two interceptions. He finished the season with nine touchdowns and six interceptions on 50.6% completions.
As of now, the Spring quarterback battle will involve Harris, Appleby, transfer Luke Del Rio, and incoming freshmen (and early enrollees) Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask.