Even more change is reported on the horizon in Gainesville.
According to college football insider Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, redshirt junior quarterback Emory Jones is expected to enter the NCAA transfer portal sometime in the next few days.
Jones plans to play in the Gators’ Gasparilla Bowl matchup against UCF later this month. After that, the Florida QB is on the search for “a place that develops me and prepares me for the next level,” per Thamel.
Jones plans to play in Florida’s bowl game vs UCF on the 23rd. He’s willing to go anywhere in the country and is looking for “a place that develops me and prepares me for the next level.”
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 15, 2021
Plenty of Florida fans wished Jones well on the next chapter of his football journey.
“Hope dude balls wherever he goes,” one wrote.
“Wish him all the best, go be great bro!” another added.
“Will never speak ill of Emory. Great teammate and leader. Hope he finds a worthy home,” another fan said.
Appreciate you @eXjones6 and wish you success at the next stop on your journey.
I know Gator Nation feels the same. https://t.co/mLACIjS28O
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) December 15, 2021
Will be rooting for Emory wherever he ends up. Always had a great attitude and cared about the program.
— Jake Winderman (@jakewinderman) December 15, 2021
Others felt this announcement was a long time coming.
“Least surprising news of the week,” one fan wrote.
“Blessing in disguise. It’s gonna be a good year,” another said.
Somewhat expected https://t.co/FxD1YCxOrn
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) December 15, 2021
Emory Jones has been with the Gators since joining the Florida program as a four-star quarterback recruit back in 2018. In his first season as a starter in 2021, the 21-year-old signal caller threw for 2,562 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on a 67.6 competition percentage. He also rushed for a team-high 696 yards and four touchdowns.
Dan Mullen, who landed Jones as his first quarterback recruit in Gainesville, is out as the team’s head coach — and newly-hired leader Billy Napier will likely start fresh with a talented young signal caller. Redshirt freshman Anthony Richardson is expected to take over the Gators’ starting QB role as a possible Heisman favorite in 2022.
Recovering from a recent knee surgery, Richardson will be unavailable for Florida’s bowl-game appearance on Dec. 23 — leaving the soon-to-be-transfer Jones as the only viable option at the quarterback position.