Photo: Billy Napier; Credit: Alex Shepherd
The inaugural NCAA transfer portal window has closed.
The potential for a relative handful (with respect to the thousands who have already done so) of players to sneak into the portal after the Jan. 18 deadline remains, as transfer requests can take up to two days to process.
However, the vast majority of college football players who want to play elsewhere in 2023 began the process of finding their next program on Dec. 5 and shortly thereafter. That pool includes 22 former scholarship members of the Gators’ roster and, so far, seven prospects set to join Florida for the upcoming campaign.
All Gators has tracked every scholarship transfer move of Florida’s during the first NCAA transfer portal below.
This story will be updated if any statuses change or additional players join the list of transfers in/out.
DL Caleb Banks: With Gervon Dexter off to the NFL Draft and Jalen Lee transferring to LSU, Florida’s need for defensive line reinforcements only became more crucial entering the offseason. The team quickly identified Banks, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound redshirt freshman from Louisville, as a high-upside lineman who could help fill the void.
While he earned just 38 snaps during the 2022 season, Banks tallied two total tackles with one for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and three quarterback pressures. per Pro Football Focus. He maintains three seasons of eligibility to utilize at Florida.
QB Graham Mertz: Florida’s plan at quarterback moving forward blew up when elite 2023 signal-caller Jaden Rashada reportedly requested release from his Letter of Intent on Tuesday. Mertz, a seasoned veteran from the Big 10, was acquired to serve as the bridge quarterback while Rashada developed behind the scenes.
Mertz’s role hasn’t changed, as he’ll be expected to start for UF in 2023 with experience on his side after 2022 starter Anthony Richardson‘s departure to the NFL Draft, but Mertz won’t have a quarterback of the future behind him on the depth chart.
Serving as the Badgers’ starting signal-caller for three of his four years in Madison, Mertz compiled 5,405 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and 26 interceptions on just under 60% completion, adding eight touchdowns on the ground.
DL Cam’Ron Jackson: The Gators weren’t done adding depth in the trenches when they landed Banks, as Jackson transferred to Florida less than two weeks later. He is expected to play nose tackle and some three-technique while Banks is likely a three-technique with defensive end potential.
After two seasons in a reserve role while adding beef to his frame, Jackson produced 41 tackles, one sack and 20 quarterback pressures (PFF) during his 2022 redshirt sophomore campaign. He routinely demanded double teams in the middle of Memphis’ defense 6-foot-5, 340 pounds.
Jackson can play for Florida for two seasons before running out of college eligibility.
LB Teradja Mitchell: With Ventrell Miller and Amari Burney off to the pros and Diwun Black transferring to Temple, Florida entered the offseason with a glaring need at linebacker that led to the acquisition of a former Buckeyes starting ‘backer in Mitchell.
After three seasons of primarily special teams play from 2018-20, Mitchell took on a starting role in Ohio State’s defense in 2021 and posted 45 tackles with 4.5 for loss in 12 games. An undisclosed injury limited him to just four appearances in 2022, however, leading to his transfer portal entry on Dec. 5.
Mitchell possesses one season of eligibility to use with the Gators.
LB Deuce Spurlock: Continuing to hammer away at the need for linebackers, Florida obtained Spurlock’s commitment shortly after Mitchell’s. Spurlock may not take on as immediate of a role as the fellow Big 10 linebacker transfer, but UF is intrigued by Spurlock’s potential as he’s put on the weight (now 6-foot-1, 231 pounds) needed to play at the second level after manning the safety position in high school.
Spurlock recorded three total tackles in two appearances as a freshman, preserving his redshirt. He’ll have four seasons of eligibility to take advantage of in Gainesville.
OL Micah Mazzccua: Florida lost four of its five 2022 starters on the offensive line this offseason when Richard Gouraige and O’Cyrus Torrence entered the NFL Draft and Michael Tarquin (USC) and Ethan White (uncommitted) entered the transfer portal.
It became an absolute necessity for the Gators to pluck offensive line talent from the portal and that process began by securing a former Baylor starter in Mazzccua.
In his first season as a starter in 2022, at left guard for 11 games, Mazzccua allowed just one sack and 11 pressures in pass protection, per PFF. He also produced a run-blocking grade of 78.5 (out of 100), good for the 15th-best mark among qualifying FBS guards.
After redshirting the 2020 COVID-19 season, Mazzccua maintains three seasons of college eligibility.
OT Damieon George Jr.: For the same reasoning as Mazzccua’s welcoming, George transferred to Florida officially on Wednesday and should contend to start at offensive tackle thanks to his experience in the SEC.
George appeared in 13 games on Alabama’s offensive line across three years in Tuscaloosa, making three starts at the end of the 2021 regular season against New Mexico State, Arkansas and Auburn. He’s also fielded a role as a blocker on field goals and extra points.
He possesses two seasons of eligibility to use for the Gators.
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Scholarship players only, listed chronologically within each position
RB Nay’Quan Wright: USF
RB Lorenzo Lingard: Akron
WR Trent Whittemore: UCF
WR Daejon Reynolds: Not committed
TE Nick Elksnis: South Carolina
TE Griffin McDowell: Tennessee-Chattanooga
OL Josh Braun: Arkansas
OL Yousef Mugharbil: Colorado
OL Michael Tarquin: Southern California
OL Ethan White: Not committed
DL Jalen Lee: LSU
EDGE David Reese: California
EDGE Chief Borders: Nebraska
EDGE Lloyd Summerall III: USF
LB Diwun Black: Temple
CB Avery Helm: TCU
CB Jordan Young: Cincinnati
STAR Tre’Vez Johnson: Missouri
DB Kamar Wilcoxson: Temple
S Donovan McMillon: Pittsburgh
S Corey Collier Jr.: Nebraska
LS Marco Ortiz: Nebraska
Only two players remain without a new program at the time this story was published: White, who surprisingly announced he would enter the portal on Dec. 24, 2022, and Reynolds, who left the team on Nov. 30.
14 of the 20 players to transfer thus far wound up at Power 5 programs and four remain in the SEC.
Stay tuned to All Gators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @AllGatorsOnFN on Twitter and All Gators on FanNation-Sports Illustrated on Facebook.
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