Speaking after their Orange and Blue Game scrimmage, Florida head coach Billy Napier praised his players added via the NCAA Transfer Portal. The transfer portal is always a hot-button issue among college fans, but Napier and the Gators have had a great look at what impact this year’s incoming transfers have had on the team already.
The Gators had multiple players come into the program this year via the portal, as well has seeing plenty of former faces transfer out. Ultimately, their recruiting efforts on the newest college football recruiting tool led them to be ranked No. 34 in On3’s Transfer Portal Rankings.
One of the biggest names brought in to the program this offseason was former four-star prospect offensive lineman Damieon George from Alabama.
Billy Napier on his transfer portal pickups
After their annual Blue and Orange Game, Napier spoke with media members and fielded questions via a press conference about his team. When asked about the infusion of new talent on the field this year, Napier pointed to all of the positives that come with adding veteran players with desire to earn a job.
“I think that’s the probably the takeaway for me as I go home and sleep tonight is — a lot of new players making significant impact,” said Napier. “You could see it in the game. Right? So you know, we’ve been observing that group. I think that there’s talent there, but it also creates competition. That dynamic, that new energy. 27 new scholarship players.
“I think they not only bring talent and upgrade the roster, but they also create competition and urgency in each room and they’re making the players around them better. Because they’ve gotta fend for themselves and they’re competing for a spot, playing time. You know [Caleb] Banks, [freshman] Kelby Collins, [Mannie] Nunnery, Cam Jackson, there’s a bunch of — [Duece] Spurlock probably had one of his better days.
“I don’t think there’s any question anybody watching that game could see this group of newcomers is gonna make our team better.”
The game itself ended as a low-scoring affair, with the Orange team winning 10-7 in the final seconds of the scrimmage. With the game tied at 7-7, sophomore kicker Trey Smack stepped up and delivered a 46-yard field goal make with time expiring to win the game.
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