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Monday, March 04, 2024

Austin Appleby enjoying weather, opportunity with Gators

<p>Florida quarterback Austin Appleby throws a pass&nbsp;during a Spring practice on March 16, 2016, at the Sanders Practice Fields.&nbsp;</p>

Florida quarterback Austin Appleby throws a pass during a Spring practice on March 16, 2016, at the Sanders Practice Fields. 

The warm weather in Florida suits Austin Appleby just fine.

In fact, he sometimes taunts his former Purdue teammates about wearing a T-shirt and shorts around campus throughout the winter.

"Those 6 a.m. times in February I remember fondly, walking over in the cold and it’s about negative 16 outside," Appleby said of his time in West Lafayette, Indiana, which even in March is projected to see temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit this week. "You’re questioning how much you like football at that time. It’s a little different when it’s 60 and you get to scoot on over."

Other than the weather, though, there’s a sense of familiarity for the transfer quarterback when it comes to Florida’s offense, which is similar to the one he ran at Purdue. And when it comes to any differences in terminology, Appleby hasn’t had any issues.

"Coach Mac and Coach Nuss are just unbelievable teachers," he said. "The way that they teach the game and the offense itself fits me very well. It really brings out what I do really well."

Appleby had a middling career with the Boilermakers, throwing for 2,777 yards, 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

In his final season, he threw for 1,260 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in three starts before being benched after a four-interception performance against Marshall.

But Appleby believes his experience — among Florida’s quarterbacks, he has the most by far — is what makes him a valuable piece to the team.

"Once you’re out there and it’s live and you’re in front of 100,000 (people), there’s no pretending," Appleby said. "I think the only way you can gain that experience is by being out there.

"So it’s not new to me. I understand what it takes to prepare, I understand what it is to be under the lights, I understand what it is to stand in there."

With four players in the mix, the competition for the starting signal caller position will be heated, but Appleby said he didn’t come to Florida to ride the bench. He came to Gainesville with two goals in mind, and both goals would be difficult to accomplish from the sidelines.

"Number one, I want to compete for a championship and I want to play at the absolute highest level," Appleby said. "Number two, I want to prepare myself and get around great players and coaches and have an opportunity to play at the next level."

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He isn’t thinking about the competition with the other quarterbacks, whom he says he has a great relationship with, but he doesn’t lack confidence in his own ability.

"I take those experiences good and bad and have been (able) to develop into who I am today to help this team win a championship."

Contact Graham Hack at and follow him on Twitter @graham_hack24

Florida quarterback Austin Appleby throws a pass during a Spring practice on March 16, 2016, at the Sanders Practice Fields. 

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