Probably the biggest need for this upcoming season is wide receiver, specifically slot. Anthony Richardson is healthy and is on track to have a stellar season, especially with the way he performed in the spring game. Florida needs a player who fits that “Kadarius Toney” mold, an adept route runner who can take the top off the defense. The only somewhat similar player is Fenley Graham, who made the switch from defense to offense this spring. Eventually, I think he will make an impact, but for now, he would be more of a developmental project at the position.
Ricky Pearsall, formerly of Arizona State, is a player that has already been linked to the Gators and will visit this weekend. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound transfer led Arizona state in receiving last year with 580 yards on 48 catches and six touchdowns. A former low three-star recruit in the 2019 class, Pearsall has plenty of experience and looks like he could outplay his high school ranking if he is able to build off of last seasons success. He has some position versatility where he could play inside or outside but I think he fits what the Gators are looking for in the slot.
Another player who could receive interest from the staff is Cody Jackson of Oklahoma. The speedy 6-foot receiver was a high 4-star recruit in the 2021 class and has plenty of developmental potential. In limited action last season, he caught five passes for 45 yards, averaging nine yards a catch. While the numbers may not show it, if you watch his high school film, he shows good speed and RAC ability and would fit really well into the offensive system.
Jaylon Robinson of UCF is a player that could be another intriguing option for Florida and is the most proven of the bunch. The 5-foot-9, 180 pound Robinson, transferred to UCF from Oklahoma after his freshman season in 2018. In his career, he has amassed 1,329 receiving yards on 76 receptions, averaging 17.9 yards per catch and eight TD's. Most of that came in 2020 when he tallied 979 yards receiving to go with six touchdowns. All of these players would be exactly what Florida is looking for in terms of a dangerous slot receiver.
This is a position that was more of concern prior to the spring game but with the way Dante Zanders and Noah Keeter played, Florida may be surprisingly deep at this spot. Zanders and Keeter finished the game with seven receptions and over 100 yards combined. Both showed adequate speed and solid hands, while Zanders looks to be in a position to compete with Keon Zipperer for the top spot.
Still, the gators may want to bring in an experienced option, especially with the injuries they suffered at the position this spring. Zipperer is the only tight end with significant experience on offense, but even that is limited, totaling only 309 receiving yards and three touchdowns throughout his three and a half years on campus.
Still, this is one that can go either way and based on Napier’s “training camp” comments on Zanders, I wouldn’t be surprised if they choose to rely on in-house talent for this fall, especially with Elksnis and Odom coming back.
Gervon Dexter is as solid as they come in the middle and is primed for a great season, but who will be next to him is the question. Desmond Watson has a lot of untapped potential and looks to have gotten the first crack at that spot next to Dexter. Jalen Lee, Jaelin Humphries, and Chris McLellan are each very talented in their own right but are inexperienced.
A player that Florida may have an interest in is former Penn State defensive lineman Cole Brevard. The 6-foot-3, 330-pound defensive lineman originally from Carmel, Indiana was the 19th ranked DL in the 2020 class and the number one player in his home state. He was recruited by now Gators DL coach Sean Spencer to play at Penn State.
To date, he hasn’t been able to make a big impact on the field but would be a good depth piece to add with multiple years of college experience under his belt. Getting a player of his size to go along with Dexter, and the rest of the crew would be quite ideal for the interior of that line.
In order to be eligible to play next season, any prospective transfers must enter their name into the portal by May 1st. Florida still needs to have several players transfer out if they are going to be "aggressive" in the transfer market like Billy Napier said in a press conference. So I would expect to see a lot of names from across the country and a few names from the Florida roster enter in the coming days.
Feature Photo Credit: https://thesundevils.com/sports/football/roster/ricky-pearsall/13096