The Emory Jones era has come to an end at Florida.
The Gators’ starting quarterback in 2021 officially announced Saturday that he is entering the Transfer Portal. Jones intends to finish his degree this spring and arrive at his next destination as a graduate transfer.
Florida head coach Billy Napier released a statement on Jones’ decision to transfer, saying he’s proud of everything he accomplished as a Gator.
“First off, I want to thank Emory and his family for everything they’ve done for the Gators,” Napier said, via The Athletic’s Max Olson. “I have had the honor to get to know his mother, Trina, and I have nothing but respect for her, Emory and the rest of his family. Emory has conducted himself with nothing but class and selflessness. It is not surprising that he has earned the respect of his teammates, coaches and this entire organization.
“I am proud of him for everything he’s accomplished and for his commitment to complete his degree this spring. He is a young man with a bright future and I wish him nothing but the best.”
The Gators conducted their first spring practice Tuesday, with Jones taking reps under center. Jones, who contemplated entering the Transfer Portal in December, told the Tampa Bay Times’ Matt Baker that he was really close to leaving, but was sold on staying from Napier.
“I kind of wanted a new environment to start with,” Jones said. “But he [Napier] kind of preached to me that what was happening here, they were planning new environment, a new culture. I just trusted him and bought into it.”
Staying at Florida, however, meant yet another quarterback competition for Jones to take part in. Redshirt sophomore Anthony Richardson, who was medically cleared ahead of the Gators’ first spring practice, was expected to enter the 2022 season as the starter. Jones took majority of the snaps under center last season, with Richardson flashing his potential in limited playing time.
A top 60 recruit coming out of high school in the 2018 class, Jones sat behind now NFL signal callers Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask before getting his opportunity last season. In 13 games, Jones threw for 2,734 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on 64.7% passing. He added 759 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, showing off his dual-threat abilities.
Jones joins former Georgia quarterback JT Daniels as the most notable quarterbacks available in the Transfer Portal.
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