3 best opposing SEC QBs Texas faces in 2024

Texas has a difficult schedule ahead in 2024, where it could face multiple Heisman-contending quarterbacks this fall.
Carson Beck
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Graham Mertz
Graham Mertz / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

3. Graham Mertz, Florida

Former Wisconsin Badger Graham Mertz was very good in his first year as the starting quarterback for the Florida Gators in 2023. Doubts regarding his ability to lead a Florida offense after he was brought in as a quick plug-and-play at quarterback last year were quickly erased after a 3-1 start for the Gators in SEC play, including an upset over rival Tennessee in Week 3.

Mertz threw for a career-high of nearly 3,000 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns last season. He'll try to replicate that impressive performance from last year as he returns for his second season to lead the Florida offense.

Another successful campaign for Mertz statistically and regarding his development as a pocket-passer could lead to 2025 NFL Draft hype for the sixth-year senior.

The path for the Gators will be extremely difficult to even reach bowl eligibility this upcoming season. Florida is considered to have one of the two or three most difficult schedules of all the teams in the power conferences for this year.

If Florida wants to have a shot to even reach the eight or nine-win mark this season, Mertz has to be, at a bare minimum, as good as he was in 2023. He might need to be even better for the Gators to navigate a 2024 schedule that includes games against the Miami Hurricanes, Texas A&M Aggies, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Texas, LSU, Ole Miss, and Florida State Seminoles, with any hopes of improving off back-to-back losing campaigns for Billy Napier.