This news should come as no surprise, but Austin Appleby has confirmed that he will transfer from Purdue for his final season of eligibility. He confirmed this earlier tonight in a tweet from his account:
Since Austin graduated this December he will be immediately eligible for the Gators, and that could be a good thing. Will Grier is
still battling a suspension that will last a calendar year transferring. Treon Harris was forced to play this season as a sophomore in his absence. Appleby brings experience that the Gators could use on a team that was 10-4 this year, but scored only 24 points in losing their last three games.
Appleby's tenure at Purdue was up and down. He leaves with 2,777 yards and 19 TDs against 19 interceptions. He also rushed for 290 yards and 9 touchdowns. In 2014 he took over the starting job from Danny Etling, who has since transferred to LSU. He led Purdue to a win in his first career start at Illinois, but Purdue would drop its final six games of the season. This year he started the first three games before being replaced by David Blough. He later started the season finale against Indiana after Blough was injured, giving him 11 career starts.
Appleby's best game was probably in his second career win, where he threw for 289 yards and 4 TDs in a 38-14 win over Indiana State this season. He later threw for a career high 332 yards against Indiana in the season finale.
I wish Austin the best. It is no secret that he struggled, but much of the blame can likely be laid at the feet of offensive coordinator John Shoop. He was merely the third quarterback ruined by Shoop, following Rob Henry (by making a running QB play in a pro system) and Etling (by having him run for his life behind a terrible offensive line). If Austin has a chance to play with good coaching at Florida, even for a season, I can see why he would take it.
Austin was always a bit of a fan favorite. He was a smart kid that worked hard, got his degree, and was a true Boilermaker. He tried his best to be this team's leader through a series of difficult circumstances, but due to a lack of talent around him and a coaching staff that has often been questionable at best he did not see much success. I want him to have a great year next year.
Meanwhile, we will watch for October 8th in Gainesville as Etling brings LSU to town to face the Gators. If that game is Etling vs. Appleby the winner will get half the number of wins each had as a starter at Purdue. Etling beat Western Michigan and Southern Illinois in 2014, while Appleby beat Illinois in 2014 and Indiana State in 2015.