Florida Gators adding Purdue grad transfer quarterback Austin Appleby
Florida's 2016 quarterback competition will be getting a boost from a graduate transfer.
Austin Appleby plans to transfer from Purdue to UF. Appleby announced his decision Monday night in a development first reported by Gold and Black, the Rivals website that covers Purdue.
Because Appleby graduated in December, he has the freedom to switch schools without sitting out a year. That means he could compete for the Gators' starting job this fall.
"I have made a decision to continue my college career at the University of Florida," Appleby said on Twitter. "I am very excited about this opportunity and all the great things that are in store for Gator Nation!"
Appleby is a 6-foot-5, 239-pound passer from North Canton, Ohio and was an Elite 11 finalist in high school. The former three-star recruit played in 17 games (11 starts) over three seasons at Purdue, throwing 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He completed 55.3 percent of his passes with a 108.4 rating with the Boilermakers but fell behind redshirt freshman David Blough on the depth chart in September.
UF has cycled through quarterbacks since Tim Tebow's graduation. Will Grier appeared to be the long-term solution but earned a one-year NCAA suspension for a failed drug test, then decided to pursue a transfer.
Treon Harris struggled after Grier's suspension. The sophomore completed 50.6 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and six interceptions. Harris was 44-of-100 over UF's final four games.
Luke Del Rio will also be expected to compete for the starting job. Del Rio - the son of Raiders coach Jack Del Rio - sat out this season after transferring from Oregon State.