Florida football is in rebuilding mode in year two under Billy Napier. After a 6-7 season and losing some top talent to the NFL Draft, they’ll have to rely on some new faces to get the job done this fall.
One of those new guys is Graham Mertz, the transfer quarterback from Wisconsin that, let’s face it, isn’t coming in with a whole lot of hype.
But the good news for Mertz is that there won’t be a ton of pressure on him to run the offense and be an elite passer.
With elite running backs like Trevor Etienne and Montrell Johnson, the Gators will rely heavily on the ground game to move the ball this season.
Plus, the defense figures to be better. Patrick Toney’s unit was near the bottom of the country last year in a few statistics, which is not the standard for defenses in Gainesville.
With Austin Armstrong now at the helm, and some more experience for key members of the secondary, the Gators will trot out a more physical, intense, and higher-quality unit.
But we’ve been talking about the returning faces and experienced guys all summer. What about some of the newcomers who are making their college debuts in the fall?
Florida’s 2023 recruiting class was ranked 12th in the country per 247 Sports and has a couple of guys who aim to be day-one contributors for Billy Napier and the Gators.
247 Sports recently released a list of freshmen to watch this fall, and four Gators made the cut.
In need of a spark and some new stars, Florida will be looking to these four guys to make a big impact this year.