It is official, Graham Mertz will be the University of Florida’s starting quarterback when the Utah Utes host the Gators to open the 2023 college football season.

Florida made the news official Friday, according to multiple reports, with Florida head coach Billy Napier telling media, “We’ve seen enough. I think the big thing is we want to go through a process with our players and team before we announce it to the media, if that makes sense.”

Mertz being named the starter isn’t exactly a surprise, as the Wisconsin transfer has been the presumed starter for the Gators since he arrived in Gainesville as a transfer during the offseason.

He did technically battle with Ohio State transfer Jack Miller throughout spring camp for the job, however.

A three-year starter at Wisconsin, Mertz had an up-and-down career with the Badgers, throwing for 5,405 yards, 38 touchdowns, 26 interceptions and a 59.5% completion percentage in 32 starts.

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Still, Napier spoke glowingly about Mertz earlier this summer

“I’ve been very impressed with Graham,” Napier told On3 Sports’ Kaiden Smith. “Graham’s a 32-start player, he’s played over 2,000 snaps at a really established program in Wisconsin and we went through an extensive process to make that decision.

“I think Graham’s an accomplished player, but more importantly, I’ve been impressed with the person and the leader. ... This guy has an incredible work ethic, he is in the building and he is fanatical about his preparation.”

Mertz is the successor to NFL lottery pick Anthony Richardson, who was selected No. 4 overall in the 2023 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

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Richardson nearly single-handily led Florida to a season-opening victory over Utah last season, completing 17 of 24 passes for 168 yards, while also rushing for 106 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries.

As for Utah, its starting quarterback situation remains up in the air, with Cam Rising’s status still unknown and likely to not be determined until a week before the Aug. 31 meeting between Utah and Florida.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham told the Deseret News earlier this week that if Rising is still not ready to go by a week to the Florida game, he — Whittingham — will “have to make some decisions.”

“Cam knows the offense inside out and there’s not really any learning curve,” Whittingham said. “It’s just physically being ready.”

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