The 23-year-old was on the Purdue bench this time last season. Now he is under center for the No. 15 Gators and will face top-ranked Alabama next week for an SEC title.
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.
"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 I couldn't even dream of. Yeah. I'm right where I'm supposed to be and I couldn't be more thrilled."