Florida fans are far too familiar with adding graduate transfer quarterbacks in recent years, but the answer with Joe Burrow is simply yes. Let me tell you why.
After weeks of struggling with this decision, I have decided to leave Ohio State and explore other options. My teammates and coaches all know the love I feel for them. I will decide where I will play next year in the coming weeks.
— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) May 8, 2018
Earlier this week, the former No. 7 rated dual-threat quarterback in the country announced he will be seeking a new home following his departure from Ohio State. Burrow (6-foot-3, 208 pounds) is an ideal scheme fit for Dan Mullen and his quest to return Florida football back to the national stage. There isn’t a smoother transition for Burrow coming from Urban Meyer to Dan Mullen. The two coaches run very similar offenses while exceeding in developing quarterbacks.
During his senior year of high school, Burrows shattered records, tossing for 4,445 yards, 63 touchdowns and only two interceptions (yes, you read that correctly) while adding five scores on the ground. His marveling high school career included being named Mr. Football in the state of Ohio and collecting the Gatorade National Player of the Year award.
Burrow has a knack for throwing the football and his high school tape proves it. Even during a quarterback battle at Ohio State this spring, Burrow had a standout spring game, completing 68% of his passes for 238 yards and two scores. Burrow’s showcased his ability to take what the defense gives him in practices and spring games. Whether it’s making the decision to quickly get the ball out or evading pursuing defenders, Burrow has flashed his talents from inside and outside the pocket.
In a Dan Mullen orchestrated offense, the quarterback must be able to run the football. Borrow’s frame and toughness will allow him to take shots from opposing teams. Burrow possesses speed, strength and agility, allowing him to be a very mobile quarterback in this offense.
The addition of Burrow, if he wins the starting job, will also allow freshman quarterback Emory Jones to sit back, develop and learn the offense in year one. Questions have circulated whether Jones is ready for SEC-caliber football and the answer is simply no at this point. If Burrow comes to Gainesville and wins the starting job, Jones will benefit tremendously from this decision.
Experience. In his two seasons at Ohio State, Burrow appeared in just seven games, throwing a combined 37 times. Why is every move of Burrow being monitored during this process if he hasn’t even showcased his skillset in a live game? His potential. The experience certainly isn’t there, but the hopes of him one day transforming into a college quarterback is. This isn’t that large of a factor in hindsight, considering two of Florida’s three quarterbacks battling for the job have never stepped onto the field in a college game.
Another question is whether or not Feleipe Franks will transfer if Burrow decides to come to Florida. That I can’t answer, but it’s a question of concern when discussing depth at the position. Despite his horrific numbers, Franks is the only quarterback on Florida’s roster that has game experience in the SEC. His large frame at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, cannon as an arm and his mobile ability has given him a leg up in the quarterback competition in the early stages. However, if Franks feels like he won’t win the job or the staff doesn’t trust him enough, he could seek other opportunities for himself.
All in all, I fully support Coach Mullen and his staff pursuing Burrow. Not only would he provide extra depth at the position, having four guys compete for the starting job will bring the best out of all players involved. Burrow has all the talent in the world surrounding him in Gainesville and for once, adding a graduate transfer in Gainesville will benefit this football team.