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Gators trying to settle on backup QB after transfer

12/13/2005 - Florida Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- No. 16 Florida will spend the next few
weeks trying to settle on a backup quarterback for the Outback
Bowl.

Freshman Josh Portis has decided to transfer and will not be
with the team for the game Jan. 2 against No. 25 Iowa, leaving the
Gators with little experience behind starter Chris Leak.

"Huge concern," coach Urban Meyer said. "Keep Chris
healthy."

Cornelius Ingram and Gavin Dickey shared repetitions as the
backup during practice Tuesday, but neither has thrown a pass this
season.

Ingram, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound redshirt freshman who also played
on Florida's basketball team last season, was going to switch
positions before next season. But Meyer said Ingram will work at
quarterback and tight end leading up to the bowl game.

"He's fun to watch," Meyer said. "A lot of our players have
commented about he's a big talented guy, athletic guy."

Dickey, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound junior, played quarterback his
first two years at Florida before moving to receiver this fall. He
caught one pass for 12 yards this season.

Both Ingram and Dickey took snaps at quarterback in the second
game of the season against Louisiana Tech. Ingram ran twice for
eight yards. Dickey carried once for a yard. But they have done
little under center since, even in practice.

Leak and Portis got most of the work.

But Portis abruptly decided to transfer last week, citing a lack
of playing time. His mother, who moved him from several high
schools in California, played a major role in her son's decision.

Meyer wouldn't talk about the transfer.

"I'd rather talk about the bowl game," he said. "At some
point, I'll say something about that. Not today."

Portis played in six games this season and had mixed results. He
was 6-of-11 passing for 81 yards with an interception. He also ran
29 times for 163 yards.

Portis, who initially committed to Utah before following Meyer
to Gainesville, said he wanted to go where he could play.

"Even after wins, you feel sad inside because you're a great
player and you want to be on the field," Portis told The
Gainesville Sun. "How do you feel if someone says good game and
you can't even help your team out?

"I don't like sitting on the sideline. I want to be on the
field."