With Florida scrambling to improve the quarterback position in 2016 following the transfer of Will Grier and the continued struggles of Treon Harris, the next best option may be a player coming to The Swamp from the Big Ten. Purdue quarterback Austin Appleby, who made the decision to transfer in December, will reportedly join the Gators in 2016.
“I am forever grateful for the opportunities I had as a Boilermaker,” Appleby wrote in a statement he released on his Twitter account. “I extend the highest regards to everyone who has helped to make my time at Purdue so impacting, especially my teammates.
“… And yet, it is time for me to turn the page and begin a new chapter in my life. I have made a decision to continue my college career at the University of Florida. I am very excited about this opportunity and all the great things that are in store for Gator Nation!”
Appleby will arrive at Florida and step right into the competition for the starting job in Gainesville. As a graduate transfer, Appleby will be eligible to play right away in 2016, and that should be good news for Florida. The Gators will have a defense ready to compete in the SEC East, but the quarterback position is in need of an upgrade, either with Appleby or Harris showing improvement.
Appleby lost the starting job at Purdue after struggling in the first few games of the 2015 season. In five games, Appleby completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 1,260 yards and eight touchdowns with eight interceptions. Appleby was supplanted as Purdue’s quarterback by freshman David Blough, who was expected to be the starter in 2016 as well.