Dan Mullen: Florida Gators not pursuing grad transfer quarterback ‘right now’

Dan Mullen expects to enter this fall with no new additions at quarterback. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Times]
Dan Mullen expects to enter this fall with no new additions at quarterback. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published May 7 2018
Updated May 7 2018

LAKELAND – Despite some rumblings tying the Gators to Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow, Florida has no plans "right now" to pursue a graduate transfer at the position, first-year coach Dan Mullen said Monday evening.

"We're not really looking at it," Mullen said before a speech to the Polk County Gator Club. "I feel pretty good about the guys we have, the depth that we're creating at that position, the competition at that position."

Mullen spoke generally about adding immediate help at the quarterback and not specifically about Burrow, who graduated from Ohio State over the weekend.

But 247Sports has already started to link Burrow to UF, even though Burrow hasn't announced whether he intends to transfer. That depends on whether he beats Dwayne Haskins to earn the Buckeyes' starting job. In two seasons as a backup, Burrow is 29-of-39 passing with two touchdown passes and a touchdown run.

When pressed a second time about a adding grad transfer quarterback, Mullen didn't completely rule out the possibility.

"This year? I don't know," Mullen said. "I don't think we'll take one."

UF has taken one each of the last two seasons. Austin Appleby (Purdue) started seven games for UF in 2016, and Malik Zaire (Notre Dame) started twice last year.

After Jake Allen announced his intention to transfer after spring practice, UF is down to three scholarship quarterbacks: Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask and early enrollee Emory Jones. That's still an improvement from last season, when Mullen had only two quarterbacks at Mississippi State.

"Three's a luxury," Mullen said. "We feel pretty good about that situation."

Some other topics Mullen addressed Monday:

·         Mullen had no update on the eligibility of receiver Van Jefferson, a transfer from Ole Miss. Jefferson is seeking to play immediately after leaving the Rebels in the wake of their NCAA scandal. Late last month, one of his former teammates, quarterback Shea Patterson, was granted immediate eligibility from the NCAA.  "We're going through the process and the steps…" Mullen said. "I never try to guess what outcomes are going to be." Mullen didn't have an update, either, on Ohio State transfer Trevon Grimes.

·         After Patterson announced his intention to leave Ole Miss, Mullen reached out to gauge his interest in UF. "I just was seeing what his interest was," Mullen said. Patterson threw for 320 yards against Mullen's Bulldogs in 2016.

·         One ambitious goal Mullen set in recruiting: Have his 10 assistant coaches hit every high school in the state. There are more than 70 in the Tampa Bay area alone. But consider that a sign of how committed Mullen is to recruiting this talent-rich state.