UF quarterback Austin Appleby living the dream with the Gators – Orlando Sentinel (blog)
UF quarterback Austin Appleby is living the dream.
First, Appleby will square off against UF rival Florida State Saturday night in Doak Campbell Stadium.
It has been quite a whirlwind for Appleby, going from Purdue benchwarmer to the Gators’ backup to UF starter during the course of a year.
“If you would’ve told me I would’ve been number one at Florida, but the starting quarterback for the Florida Gators and just clinched the SEC East, I would’ve told you you were nuts this time last year,” Appleby said. “I’m enjoying every second of it. I love my teammates. I love this place.
“I’m just gonna cherish every second.”
Appleby has stepped in twice this season for injured starter Luke Del Rio. The second time was on Nov. 12 during a 20-7 win on senior day against South Carolina — Appleby’s one and only start for UF in the Swamp.
Last Saturday, Appleby threw a 98-yard touchdown to help the Gators beat LSU. It was the longest pass play at UF since 1977, a stretch of 39 years when Danny Wuerffel, Tim Tebow, Rex Grossman and other stars led the Gators’ offense.
Growing up in Ohio, Appleby was a Tebow fan and cannot believe he is following in his footsteps. If everything falls into place at FSU and against Alabama, Appleby could have a shot to do something Tebow did twice – win a national championship.
“It had been my dream to come here ever since I was yay big,” Appleby said. “I just worked hard, stayed faithful in God and, you know, he’s revealed himself to me in ways that