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Florida Gators transfer portal: Best available at positions of need – Quarterbacks

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Florida Gators transfer portal: Best available at positions of need – Quarterbacks

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Gators are very much an unfinished product and roster heading out of spring camp. Head coach Billy Napier said as much after the 2023 spring game.

Graham Mertz and Jack Miller are competing for the starting job with Mertz looking like the most likely to win the job. The Gators have one other scholarship quarterback in Max Brown. 2025 commit Austin Simmons could reclassify to the 2023 class and join Florida as soon as this summer. That is what Napier was referring to when Gators Online asked him about a quarterback after the spring game when he said, “I think that process is underway to some degree. I think we’ll know more pretty soon. That’s what I would say in that regard. Yes, we anticipate adding a player to our team at that position.”

Still, if the Gators can identify a quarterback that is in the portal that can come in and play right away, they should pursue that option.

As you’ll see in the list below, that market is slim and not as enticing as you may think.

It’s much more likely — unless something changes in terms of who makes themselves available in the transfer portal — that the Gators will stick with what they have in that room.

Identifying potential targets for the Gators

Best available quarterbacks (Per On3 transfer portal rankings)

Ben Bryant – Arizona

Bryant left Cincinnati and then returned as a graduate student prior to the 2022 season and started. With Emory Jones transferring from Florida to Arizona State, and now to Cincinnati, Bryant (23 years old) is back in the portal. He’s currently listed as the best available quarterback in the transfer portal.

Bryant has one final year (a sixth) of eligibility remaining. It was reported that, while he entered the transfer portal, returning to Cincinnati is a possibility. He was also reported to be the best passer of the quarterbacks in the Bearcats’ spring camp.

Chance Nolan – Oregon State

Nolan entered the transfer portal back in December and hasn’t found a home yet. Auburn Live reported that he has had interest from the Tigers and the feeling is mutual.

Here’s what On3 wrote about him:

“Nolan will be on to his fourth college after going from Middle Tennessee State to junior college to Oregon State and now the transfer portal. After being usurped by Ben Gulbranson during the season and following the transfer of DJ Uiagalelei to Corvallis, the writing was on the wall.

“Nolan is a California native but has shown he’s willing to head out east and is a highly thought-of player.”

Ben Finley – N.C. State

Finley is a rare case. He’s a graduate transfer with three years of eligibility remaining. He played in eight games during his time with the Wolfpack. Finley finished with 912 total passing yards, completing 83 of 52 (54.6%) with four touchdowns and five interceptions.

As a member of the Class of 2020, Finley was a three-star recruit out of Phoenix (Ari.) Paradise Valley, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He was the No. 15 overall prospect in the state, the No. 44 quarterback in the class and the No. 649 overall prospect in the class.

Hayden Wolff – Old Dominion

Wolff was in a three-man race for the starting job but has entered the transfer portal. Wolff will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He started 12 games this past season, throwing for 2,908 yards and 18 touchdowns. Wolff also started seven games in 2021.

A 6-foot-5, 235-pound native of Venice, Florida, Wolff passed for 5,578 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions in his ODU career. Last season, he amassed 2,908 yards, 18 touchdowns, and six picks, starting all 12 games for a team that finished 3-9.

Wolff is originally a three-star prospect out of high school in the 2019 class. He was the No. 968 overall recruit and No. 54 quarterback in the 2019 On3 Industry Ranking.

Best move for the Gators?

Quite frankly, outside of maybe Bryant from Cincinnati, there simply isn’t a quarterback that is currently in the transfer portal that we think Florida will go after. Billy Napier has been pleased with Graham Mertz and if Austin Simmons does reclassify, he’ll be happy with the numbers in the room. Players will have until April 30 to enter their names in the transfer portal. The SEC restricts players from transferring to another SEC school this late in the cycle without having to sit out a year. That would exclude the possibility of landing a quarterback from another SEC school.

Buckle up. Florida’s starting quarterback in 2023 is most likely already on campus.

The post Florida Gators transfer portal: Best available at positions of need – Quarterbacks appeared first on On3.

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