DJ Lagway will be the future of Florida Football. Just remember to give him time.

The five-star freshman will eventually take over the reigns from Graham Mertz. Just not yet.

Florida Gators quarterback Graham Mertz (15) and recruit DJ Lagway hug after the game at Steve
Florida Gators quarterback Graham Mertz (15) and recruit DJ Lagway hug after the game at Steve / Jesse Gann / USA TODAY NETWORK

Spring practice is underway for Florida Football and it is the time of year for hopes and dreams as we watch guys runs through drills against air. Many of the eyeballs in attendance had their sights set on the players wearing number 2 as the future of the Gators participated in his first formal practice.

While DJ Lagway should eventually fulfill that destiny, just remember that the pathway to get there won't be instant.

Florida Football: Go DJ, That's My DJ

If you were to ask a rival fan who the starting QB for the Florida Gators is going to be in 2024, you probably would get as many answers for Lagway as you would the actual correct answer Graham Mertz.

It's understandable why people might say that, whether sincere or trolling. Lagway has garnered every accolade one could want coming out of high school and has the size to be a starting TE in the SEC right now. Lagway is currently listed at 6'3" and 241 pounds. By comparison, Tim Tebow was listed at 6'3" and 245 pounds his senior season at Florida.

But much like Tebow wasn't the starter in his freshman season, pump the brakes on expecting Lagway to start against Miami on August 31.

And that's okay.

When asked about how he's been doing so far, Billy Napier had nothing but praise for Lagway while also keeping expectations in check.

"We all understand that he is talented, he's had significant accomplishments. And we're excited that he's here. So I think the big thing is, we've got work to do between now and when we do play, right? He's got to earn his role in the team, just like every other player. So, the good thing is that we've observed him for 10 weeks, and he's been phenomenal. The detail, the discipline, the work ethic, and he'd be the first to tell you it hasn't been easy."

Billy Napier

As a reminder Arch Manning and Nico Iamaleava, the top QBs from the class of 2023, didn't play much last season.

Drew Allar and Cade Klubnik, the top QBs from 2022, didn't play right away their freshman year.

In 2021 it was Quinn Ewers that didn't play. In 2020, Bryce Young and DJ Uiagalelei didn't play.

In fact going back to 2017, of the 14 QBs ranked in the top two of their respective class by 247 Sports, only three attempted at least 200 passes their freshman season: Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, and Trevor Lawrence.

So the moral of the story is that Mertz is going to be the starter to begin the season and that's okay. Because the last time Florida had a hyper accurate QB with a 240 pounds tank waiting in the wings, it worked out just fine in the short term and in the long term for the Gators.