QB depth takes hits as Brissett decides to transfer
Published: Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 1:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 1:17 p.m.
Jeff Driskel's competition at quarterback, and Florida's depth at the position, is leaving.
In a move that had been anticipated by many for months, junior quarterback Jacoby Brissett has decided to transfer to another school.
Brissett's high school coach, Palm Beach Dwyer's Jack Daniels, said Sunday that it was a tough decision for Brissett, but one he felt he had to make.
“He loved the University of Florida,” Daniels said. “He's got a bunch of friends on the team. He did everything he was asked to do. They elected to go with Jeff.
“It's time for Jacoby to move on. He's too good to be sitting behind someone.”
Daniels said Brissett has a short list of schools he is considering transferring to, including West Virginia, Arkansas, Louisville, North Carolina State and Duke.
UF also announced Sunday that junior running back Chris Johnson from Ocala Trinity Catholic also is transferring. Johnson, who saw most of his playing time on special teams, was ejected from the Sugar Bowl for throwing a punch during the second-half kickoff.
“Both Jacoby and Chris expressed an interest in transferring and getting a fresh start,” UF coach Will Muschamp said in a UF release. “We are very thankful for their contributions to the University of Florida and wish them the best of luck.”
Daniels said Brissett felt he did not get a fair chance to win the starting job at Florida.
“I don't think he felt he did,” Daniels said. “(The UF coaches) went into the first game of the season saying it was going to be a fair competition. Obviously, they had their mind made up before that game. But it's hard to criticize their decision because they went 11-2. It's just better for Jacoby to move on.
“He was crushed when he wasn't named the starter. Jacoby considered staying for spring practice and trying to win the job, but when the coaches announced there wasn't an open competition he decided it was time to move on.”
Brissett's departure leaves the Gators with only three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster heading into the spring — Driskel, junior Tyler Murphy and redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg. UF also has a commitment from one quarterback for the 2013 recruiting class — Max Staver.
Brissett was a late addition to the 2011 recruiting class. UF was not a factor in his recruitment until Will Muschamp replaced Urban Meyer, who ran a spread offense, and Muschamp named Charlie Weis his offensive coordinator.
Weis personally recruited Brissett and he ended up signing with Florida over Wisconsin and others. He came to UF knowing he would have to compete with Driskel, the top-rated quarterback prospect in the nation.
As true freshmen in 2011, the two shared playing time in relief of the injured John Brantley. They began competing for the starting role heading into the spring of 2012 and remained basically in a dead heat until Driskel was named the starter after the season-opener against Bowling Green.
The two went into the game expected to share playing time, but Driskel played the majority of the game.
Dainels said Brissett has a bright future at whichever school he chooses. He's expected to make a decision this week.
“Jacoby will play in the NFL,” Daniels said. “If he gets in the right offense, he's got a chance to be a Heisman Trophy candidate. That's how good he is.”
Brissett will have to sit out the 2013 season, per NCAA transfer rules.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.