Florida Gators football: Tyler Murphy to transfer

Florida Gators

(Photo Credit: Mark Zerof/USA Today Sports)

Florida Gators redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy intends to transfer, the school confirmed via its Twitter account Sunday.

Murphy graduated on Saturday and will be eligible to play immediately at his next school, per NCAA rules.

Murphy captured the hearts of Florida Gators football fans this past season after stepping in for an injured Jeff Driskel, leading the team to three straight wins. He threw for 1,216 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions in six starts. He injured his shoulder against LSU, and after toughing it out for a few games, he was eventually replaced by redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg for the final three games.

Murphy’s decision to transfer may catch some by surprise. Last week, head coach Will Muschamp shot down rumors of Murphy transferring, and was apparently caught completely of guard with the news of Murphy leaving, according to Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun.

Muschamp has insisted that the starting quarterback job would be an open competition this spring, but many believe the job is Driskel’s to lose.

It is difficult to be upset with Murphy for his decision. His story was well documented earlier this season. A two-star recruit form Connecticut, Murphy did not receive a scholarship offer from Florida until late in the process. He sat on the bench for three years behind the likes of John Brantley, Driskel and Jacoby Brissett, patiently waiting for his opportunity. Now that he has proven what he can do on this level, it seems fair for him to seek an opportunity for more playing time.

It’s unclear where he will end up at this time, but one logical choice would seem to be Boston College. Former Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio is the head coach of the Eagles and was instrumental in recruiting Murphy at Florida. Another option could be Louisville, where former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong has brought in several Florida transfers over the past few years.

With Murphy leaving, Florida is now extremely thin at quarterback for the upcoming season. Paired with freshman quarterback Max Staver’s decision to transfer Thursday, Florida is down to just two scholarship quarterbacks for next season. Although, Florida expects top recruit Will Grier to arrive on campus in January. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Florida try and add another quarterback in recruiting as well.