Florida QB Emory Jones enters transfer portal despite initially staying with Gators for spring practice

By Adam Silverstein
March 18, 2022
Florida QB Emory Jones enters transfer portal despite initially staying with Gators for spring practice
Football

Image Credit: GatorsFB on Twitter

Florida Gators quarterback Emory Jones, who will enter his redshirt senior season in 2022, has decided to join the transfer portal despite starting spring practice with the program. Jones announced his decision Saturday after reportedly informing the coaching staff of his move Friday.

“Thank you for so many unforgettable memories. 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,” Jones wrote in part of his announcement dedicated to Gator Nation. He also thanked his teammates, coaches and the University of Florida for helping him grow.

“After many conversations with my family and after putting a lot of thought into my future, i have decided to enter the transfer portal,” he continued. “I am proud to say that I will continue my education at the University of Florida with the goal of becoming a Gator Graduate at the end of the spring semester.”

Jones, who waited three years to earn the starting job ahead of the 2021 season, did not initially enter the transfer portal as previously reported at the end of the campaign. Instead, Jones not only remained with the Gators through the 2021 Gasparilla Bowl, he decided to stay at Florida for spring practice, noting this week that head coach Billy Napier and the coaching staff convinced him to remain with the team.

“I kind of wanted a new environment to start with, but [Napier] kind of preached to me that what was happening here, they were planning a new environment, a new culture,” Jones told local reporters this week. “I just trusted him and bought into it.”

Just three days after making those comments, which included Jones saying he was “committed” to being at UF given his presence at spring practice, he appears focused on finding a new landing spot. Jones is set to graduate this spring and will be eligible immediately once he transfers.

“I want to thank Emory and his family for everything they’ve done for the Gators,” Napier said in a statement. “… 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.”

In his first year as the Gators’ starter, Jones completed 67.7% of his passes for 2,563 yards with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also ran for 697 yards with four more scores on the ground. Jones was maddeningly inconsistent from week to week, and while he did flash at times, he did not live up to expectations most had when he was decided as the heir apparent to Kyle Trask.

Hurting the perception of Jones’ play was the breakout campaign of Anthony Richardson, who took over as starter late in the season but reinjured his knee in the finale against Florida State.

With Richardson expected to start for Florida next season due to his better play and higher upside, Jones deciding to find a new destination makes sense.

Richardson and Jones were both dressed for spring practice this week, though Richardson continues to rehabilitate from his injury.

Jones staying to play in the bowl game was seen as a nice parting gesture to his teammates, but remaining with the program for spring was initially a surprising decision with most assuming he would transfer once the semester was complete.

Jones, the No. 85 overall player in the Class of 2018, should have a number of suitors interested in his services.

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