Florida football: 15 greatest quarterbacks in Gators history

Tim Tebow, Danny Wuerffel, Steve Spurrier, Florida Gators. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Tim Tebow, Danny Wuerffel, Steve Spurrier, Florida Gators. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /
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Eric Kresser, Cincinnati Bengals
Eric Kresser, Cincinnati Bengals. Mandatory Credit: Mark Lyons /Allsport /

Eric Kresser often gets overlooked in the landscape of the “Fun ‘n’ Gun” era of Steve Spurrier Gators football. The Cincinnati native first came to Gainesville in 1992, but ended up redshirting his freshman year with the Florida program. Finding playing time in a stacked Gators offense would follow Kresser during his entire four-year stint in Gainesville.

Terry Dean was already a junior by the time Kresser saw the field. Florida had also recruited arguably the best player in the state in quarterback Danny Wuerrfel from Fort Walton Beach. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that playing time was hard to come by for Kresser for much of his Florida tenure.

After playing sparingly in 1993 and 1994, Kresser saw his passing attempts improve from 48 as an underclassmen to 112 during his junior in 1995. Dean had already exhausted his eligibility and Wuerrfel was already entrenched as the starter. That being said, Kresser did show flashes of promise as a backup in 1995.

He completed 58 percent of his passes for 992 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions in nine games. Kresser averaged 8.9 yards per attempt and had a passer efficiency rating of 164.2. Knowing that he wasn’t going to beat out Wuerffel, Kresser opted to transfer to Marshall University for his senior year in 1996.

Though Wuerffel would win the Heisman that ensuing fall, Kresser tore it up in the I-AA level for the Thundering Herd. Kresser had 35 passing touchdowns and well over 3,400 yards passing, as Marshall won the Division I-AA National Championship over the Montana Grizzlies in what was a perfect season for the Thundering Herd.

Kresser would go undrafted in 1997, but ended up signing a rookie contract with his hometown Cincinnati Bengals, where he would play for three seasons. Overall, Kresser completed 58.1 percent of his passes for 1,572 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions in his Florida career. His passing totals have been lost to time, but his 9.8 career yards per attempt and career 171.5 passer efficiency rating still hold up, making him just good enough to crack this top 15.