Florida redshirt junior Nick Sproles, the Gators’ No. 3 quarterback, has entered the NCAA transfer portal, but will remain with the team through the remainder of the season, UF coach Dan Mullen said Wednesday.
“He’s what the transfer portal is for,” Mullen said on the SEC coaches teleconference. “Nick Sproles is a guy that’s been one of the most valuable guys on our team. He’s not only the third-team quarterback, he’s the scout team quarterback.
“He’s extremely intelligent. He’s going to graduate from Florida this spring. He’s why they put the transfer portal in, not for these other silly things that go on with it.
“Nick’s a guy that’s going to wrap up with us. He’s going to be with the team until the end of the season and then he’s going to graduate. I know he’d really like the opportunity to go transfer and play at another school next year.”
Sproles, a walk-on from Winter Park, played in three games as the No. 3 quarterback last season, attempting just one pass in the regular-season finale against Florida State.
Mullen and his staff are working with Sproles to help set him up with another school where he will have an opportunity to play.
“We’ve met with him and we’re going to help him do that as much as possible,” Mullen said. “He’s just trying to let everybody know that he’s out there.
“That’s really what the transfer portal was for, situations like Nick Sproles. It’s used in a lot of other ways that aren’t as good. It’s to benefit a guy like him. He’s one of the most valuable guys on our team and will be through the end of the season.”
Underclassmen eye draft
Mullen has spent time during the bye week to meet with his draft-eligible underclassmen to fill them in on the process and help them prepare paperwork for the NFL to find out their draft grade.
“I’ve been able to sit down with a bunch of those guys about their future, about the process to get a jump-start on that for them, to really get through the process right now of what they need to do,” Mullen said. “Gather as much information as they can, get ready to turn in to see where their grades are, so those guys can make good decisions for their future.”
In the past several years, some underclassmen have left when they probably should have stayed in school another year. The latest example is defensive end Jachai Polite.
Polite was projected as a possible first-round pick during last season, but his stock fell dramatically with a poor performance at the NFL Combine. He was drafted in the third round by the New York Jets but was cut in the preseason, signed by Seattle, which also cut him, before the Los Angeles Rams signed him to their practice squad.
“The big key is all we want if for guys to make good decisions and have success with that,” Mullen said. “Guys that are going to get drafted in the first or second round, they know that, they feel good about it, ‘Here’s what you need to do to maintain that draft status.’ Get drafted and you made a great decision to leave.
“And educate guys that should stay, the reasons they should stay, ‘Here’s what’s happening in the future for you.’ Make sure they and their families are very educated.”
Samford in The Swamp
Samford, already a home game for UF in 2021, will be returning for a second game against the Gators in The Swamp in 2024, according to a report by FBSschedules.com.
The 2021 game is set for Nov. 13, while the 2024 game is scheduled for Sept. 7.