Florida quarterback Emory Jones, who started the 2021 season, announced he will be entering the transfer portal. Jones thanked his teammates, coaches and Gators fans in a statement posted across social media.
“Thank you for so many unforgettable memories,” Jones said. “Thank you for always showing up and supporting me. I will never forget the indescribable feeling and the roar of 90,000 strong at the Swamp.”
Former head coach Dan Mullen recruited Jones to Florida in 2018 and gave the Franklin, Georgia, native the opportunity to start for the Gators last season. Following Mullen’s firing, the rise of redshirt freshman Anthony Richardson and the arrival of new head coach Billy Napier, many expected Jones to enter the transfer portal right away.
On Tuesday, Jones joined the Gators for the first spring practice of the season. In post-practice media availability, Jones said that Napier and assistant coach Ryan O’Hara recruited the redshirt senior to stay in Gainesville under the new regime after the Gators quarterback said he was “really close” to transferring in the winter.
Jones initially announced his intention to enter the portal before starting in the Gasparilla Bowl loss to UCF on Dec. 23.
The quarterback said he will stay at UF through the spring semester as he works to finish his degree and thanked the university for helping him grow through his college career.
“I also want to thank the University of Florida as a whole for the experience, lessons learned and for helping me become the person I am today,” Jones said.
Jones battled through seemingly endless criticism from Gators fans throughout 2021 and entered into a contentious quarterback shuffle with Richardson throughout the year. While the relationship between the two has always been strong, the on-field competition for playing time drew the ire of the Florida faithful.
With the loss of Jones, Napier and his staff still have Richardson to anchor the quarterback room. The Gainesville native showed limitless potential when healthy last season and is widely expected to earn the starting spot by the fall. Florida also recruited Ohio State transfer Jack Miller III, a former four-star recruit who played sparingly with the Buckeyes. The Gators also have a pair of redshirt freshmen in Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and Jalen Kitna vying for playing time.
Florida continues its Spring football practices next week as they prepare for the Orange and Blue exhibition game on Thursday, April 14.
Contact Topher Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Topher_Adams.
Topher Adams is a third-year journalism major and the football beat reporter for The Alligator. He also covered Florida lacrosse for the paper and loves watching college football and MLS soccer.