Former Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz to play for Florida in 2023

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz (5) handles a snap during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin upset Iowa 27-7. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) (Andy Manis, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Former Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz is transferring to Florida, giving the Gators an experienced starter at a depleted position.

Mertz announced his commitment on social media Wednesday. He is expected to enroll at the Southeastern Conference school in January.

A three-year starter at Wisconsin, Mertz left the program after the Badgers hired former Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell to head its program.

He joins a Florida team that lost Anthony Richardson to the NFL draft and dismissed backup Jalen Kitna following his arrest on child pornography charges. Third-stringer Jack Miller started the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon State and threw for 180 yards and was sacked four times in a 30-3 loss.

The Gators signed four-star quarterback prospect Jaden Rashada on Wednesday as a potential starter in 2023 and could mine the transfer portal for more help at the all-important position, where Florida lost Richardson, Kitna, Emory Jones and Carlos Del Rio-Wilson in a nine-month span.

Mertz threw five touchdown passes to help Wisconsin beat Illinois 45-7 in his first career start, setting a school single-game record for completion percentage and tying the school single-game record for TD tosses.

But he struggled with consistency the rest of his time with the Badgers. Wisconsin had a different offensive coordinator each of his three seasons as a starter.

Mertz has completed 59.5% of his career passes for 5,405 yards, with 38 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. He completed 57.3% of his attempts for 2,136 yards, with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.


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