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Graham Mertz to stay with Florida Gators for 2024 football season

The Wisconsin transfer started 11 games this season and was one of the nation’s most accurate passers.
 
Florida Gators quarterback Graham Mertz will be back for another UF football season.
Florida Gators quarterback Graham Mertz will be back for another UF football season. [ JEFF ROBERSON | AP ]
Published Nov. 30, 2023

The Florida Gators got a boost Thursday when quarterback Graham Mertz announced he will remain in Gainesville for his second season with the team.

Mertz started the first 11 games before he suffered a collarbone injury in the loss at Missouri. He ranked fifth nationally in completion percentage (72.9) and adapted well to the Gators after transferring from Wisconsin. He threw 20 touchdown passes against three interceptions and was in the top 40 nationally with 8.1 yards per attempt.

His retention is pivotal for the Gators. Redshirt freshman Max Brown — who started against Florida State in Mertz’s absence — is expected to enter the transfer portal. Last year’s bowl starter, Jack Miller, didn’t appear in a game this season.

If nothing else, Mertz provides experience and competition at the position as the Gators prepare to add five-star prospect DJ Lagway in this recruiting class. Assuming Lagway signs — all oral commitments are non-binding —he’ll be the Gators’ top quarterback addition since Tim Tebow.

He and the Gators will be up against one of the nation’s toughest schedules next season with a full SEC slate, plus non-conference games against Miami, UCF and FSU. Defensive lineman Cam Jackson also announced his intention to stay for another season earlier this week.

The Gators’ roster remains fluid as the transfer portal window opens Monday. Players who have announced their intention to enter it include kicker Adam Mihalek (Wiregrass Ranch High), tight end Jonathan Odom (Jesuit High) and receiver Thai Chiaokhiao-Bowman.

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