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Five Potential Transfer Quarterbacks the Gators Could Land For 2023

As the 2022 Florida Gators football season comes to a close, there are many guys who are departing the program either through the draft, transfer portal or graduation. Perhaps the biggest of all of the exits though came last Monday afternoon when redshirt sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson announced he would be forgoing his last two years of eligibility to enter the 2023 NFL Draft.


While this wasn't the most surprising move, it does leave the Gators with a void at the quarterback position. While talented high four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada will be joining the program in January, the Gators would like to add an experienced signal caller via the transfer portal that would allow Rashada to sit and learn for a year or two. With that being said, I will be going through my top 5 available portal quarterbacks that I think would be the best fit/are most realistic for the Gators to land.


DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson



The first name on my list is a guy who is certainly a big name in the sport and who has all of the upside in the world. Though his first three seasons might've not gone according to plan at Clemson, DJ U is arguably the most talented and high-profile quarterback in the portal.


After throwing for 2,521 yards, 22 touchdowns and 7 interceptions this season, a season in which he was benched on and off in favor of freshman Cade Klubnik, DJ decided to enter his name into the portal to try and start somewhere full-time for his senior season.


Standing at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, DJ is a physical specimen at the position and his build is similar to that of Anthony Richardson's. Like Richardson, too, DJ is a threat on the ground, racking up 545 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns this season. His big arm is something that you dream of in a quarterback and if he can polish his game up a little bit in his final season, he could easily play his way high up NFL draft boards.


While DJ is probably not going to come to Florida next season and is quite frankly a long shot to be the Gators quarterback in 2023, it's a very interesting name to keep an eye on and don't rule it out completely.


Nick Evers, Oklahoma



The next guy on this list was once committed to play for the Gators. Nick Evers was a four-star quarterback from Flower Mound, Texas coming out of high school and before he committed to play for Oklahoma, he was a Gator commit. Now, after sitting on the bench and seeing very limited action, Evers has decided to hit the portal to find another home.


Standing at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Evers has a long and slender frame that complements his elusive style of play very well. Not only was he a four-star prospect coming out of high school, but he also was ranked by Rivals as the number four ranked dual-threat quarterback in the country.


His junior and senior season stats back this up, where he threw for a combined 4,944 yards and 40 touchdowns while rushing for 915 yards and 15 touchdowns. A true dual threat, Evers is exactly what Billy Napier looks for in a quarterback. A taller guy who can not only throw the football well but can be effective as part of the Gator's rushing attack.


While so far Evers's name has been linked to the Gators just briefly due to his time prior as a commit, it wouldn't be shocking to see Evers decide to re-commit to Florida and compete for the starting job in 2023.


Sam Hartman, Wake Forest



While he has not entered the transfer portal yet, many people have speculated that Sam Hartman will not enter the NFL Draft this spring and will move on to a bigger school in hopes of increasing his draft stock. With him already announcing that he is not coming back to Wake Forest for his final year of eligibility and with plenty of money to be made in NIL, many signs are pointing to Hartman returning to college for one more year and entering the portal. And the current frontrunner to land the Wake Forest signal caller? Billy Napier and the Gators.


Standing at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Hartman doesn't wow you athletically. What he does wow you with though is his arm talent and his ability to extend plays. Hartman finished the regular season this year with 3,421 yards and 35 touchdowns through the air as well as 114 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground. Hartman has shown in the past that he can be a threat both throwing and rushing too, when he threw for 4,228 yards and 39 touchdowns to go along with 363 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing last season.


There have been many rumors circulating within the world of Gator twitter and message boards within the past couple of weeks that if Hartman were to enter the portal instead of declaring for the draft he would be interested in taking his talents south to Gainesville.


In my opinion, he would provide exactly what the Gators need next year: an experienced, veteran quarterback that has proved that he can produce and win games. Along with that, Hartman has shown that he can be effective in the run game, which is something that Billy Napier looks for in his quarterback. All in all, Hartman to Florida would be an ideal situation for both parties and with rumors already circulating, it could very well become a reality.


Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State



While some of the other guys on this list might be more attractive options, Spencer Sanders is someone who Billy Napier and staff can bring in and know that they'll get solid, consistent play from. With one year of eligibility left, Sanders has decided to test his luck in the portal and try to finish his college career strong at a place where he can start right away.


Standing at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Sanders hasn't really ever put up monster numbers throughout his career at Oklahoma State. However, what he does offer is true dual-threat talent at the quarterback position, which we have seen is the preference of coach Napier. This season, Sanders threw for 2,462 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air while rushing for 391 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground.


Currently, the Gators are the betting favorites to land Sanders according to Bookies.com with +350 odds, followed by Notre Dame with +400 odds and Wisconsin with +450 odds. If this is true, then that means that Sanders is more likely to land in a Gator uniform next season than anywhere else.


Personally, I like the idea of being able to bring in a seasoned veteran signal-caller that will allow incoming freshman Jaden Rashada to sit and learn for a year from a guy who has played for a while. However, I do believe that there are better options in the portal with the possibility of Sam Hartman entering along with the final guy upcoming on my list.


Devin Leary, NC State



The fifth and final quarterback on this list is a guy who, like Hartman, is a proven winner and someone who can give the Gators great production next season. Devin Leary came into this season with high expectations and was even a potential Heisman candidate before the season began. However, after a pectoral injury against FSU midway through the year derailed his season, Leary is now coming back for one final season to try and play his way into being a first-round NFL Draft pick.


Standing at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Leary is a guy that is gifted at the position. As I mentioned earlier, he came into this season with sky-high expectations that included being a possible Heisman Trophy finalist and a first-round NFL Draft pick. These expectations were backed up by a stellar 2021 season where Leary threw for 3,433 yards and 35 touchdowns. Despite throwing for just 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns in an injury-shortened season this year, Leary is one of if not the best quarterbacks available in the portal.


According to Bookies.com, the same site that put out the Spencer Sanders betting odds, the Gators currently have +1000 odds to land Leary. While this, along with the flurry of interest he'll get from other schools puts us as a longshot to land him, Leary could be intrigued to come and play in the SEC and prove he belongs as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.


What the Gators would be getting in Leary is a proven elite-caliber quarterback that would be a plug and play guy from day one in Billy Napier's offense. This would also allow Jaden Rashada to sit and learn for a year behind one of the best players in the country and in my opinion, would be an ideal situation for not just the Gators, but also for Leary.


Garrett's Prediction

While the portal just opened up and there are many rumors swirling around, there is one guy who I believe will come to Florida for the 2023 season. Personally, I believe that Sam Hartman will take his 6th year of eligibility and come to Gainesville to be a Gator for his final collegiate season. The move just makes too much sense for both sides. For Hartman, you get to come play for one of the best programs in the country in front of one of the best fan bases in the country and prove you belong in the best conference in the country before heading into the NFL Draft in 2024. For Florida, we get an experienced veteran quarterback who can produce week in and week out that can also allow our four-star freshman quarterback to sit for a year and learn.


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