Florida football: Gators announce date of Orange and Blue game

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Florida Gators wide receiver Ricky Pearsall (1) celebrates after catching a touchdown during the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, November 12, 2022. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

Florida announced Monday it will hold its annual Orange and Blue spring football game on April 13, a Thursday.

More details about the game, including streaming and broadcast information, fan initiatives and kickoff time will be announced at a later date.

The Gators (6-7, 3-5 SEC) are coming off a losing season under first-year coach Billy Napier, which ended with a 30-3 loss to Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 17. Florida will have 15 practices leading up to the spring game. Those practices likely will begin at some point in March.

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The spring will present a position battle at quarterback, with Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz, redshirt sophomore Jack Miller and redshirt freshman Max Brown battling for the starting job.

Overall, Florida will look to replace 11 starters from last season's team, including quarterback Anthony Richardson, All-American guard O'Cyrus Torrence, leading tackler and safety Rashad Torrence and defensive leader and linebacker Ventrell Miller.

Florida dipped into the transfer portal to address some of the losses, bringing in Mertz from Wisconsin, Baylor offensive lineman Micah Mazzccua and Memphis defensive lineman Cam'Ron Jackson to fill some of the holes opened by the departed starters.

The Gators also will have close to 20 early enrollees from a signing class that was ranked 12th nationally per before losing prized quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada, who was released from his letter of intent earlier this month after a botched NIL deal.

The class still includes several promising players, including four-star defensive lineman Kelby Collins, four-star receiver Aidan Mizell and four-star cornerback Ja'Keem Jackson.