Florida football had its ups and downs during the fall transfer period. New head coach Billy Napier brought in a trio of former players from Louisiana in and Jack Miller came over from Ohio State. Meanwhile, the team lost several projected starters as the new coaching staff settled in.
Now that spring practices are wrapped up and the new culture is somewhat established, Napier and the Gators are preparing to take on the spring transfer period. ESPN dropped its list of the top 25 players available in the portal and only two departing Gators are on it, Emory Jones and Carlos Del Rio-Wilson.
Jones entertained the idea of transferring in the fall but ultimately decided to stay through the spring to get his degree at UF. As spring practices wound down, Jones finally put his name into the portal and will be playing elsewhere next season. He checks in at No. 11 on ESPN’s list of available spring 2022 transfers.
Jones waited three seasons for his chance to start at Florida, but this season did not go quite as anyone planned. Though Jones earned the starting job, former coach Dan Mullen also played Anthony Richardson — and his highlight plays left fans clamoring for more of Richardson and less of Jones. Mullen could never seem to decide the best way to use them both, and Jones never got going in a consistent way.
Del Rio-Wilson, the No. 16 transfer on ESPN’s list, waited until after the spring game to make his announcement. After only attempting two passes in the fourth quarter of the Orange and Blue game, he decided to seek more opportunities elsewhere with Napier’s backing.
Del Rio-Wilson was the No. 58 recruit in the 2021 class and signed with Florida out of Cartersville High School in Loganville, Georgia. He redshirted his first season and is now looking elsewhere to play out the rest of his eligibility.
The good news for these two is that they are considered the top two quarterbacks in the portal right now by ESPN. Behind them are Baylor’s Gerry Bohanon and UNLV’s Justin Rogers which means the former Gators have a good shot at landing somewhere decent. JT Daniels was the most coveted quarterback transfer in the fall cycle and wound up at West Virginia. A similar transition could be in store for Jones.
Florida will also look to add players through the transfer portal this spring, and ESPN has them in the mix for two of its top-5 transfers. Former Arizona State linebacker Eric Gentry is No. 2 on the list and Florida is competing with Miami, Penn State and Texas for his services. There’s also wide receiver Ricky Pearsall from ASU who sits at No. 4 on the list and led the team with 580 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Pearsall might be the more coveted recruit for Florida given the team’s lack of depth at wide receiver, but Napier’s pointed out that there are several holes for the team to fill throughout the spring. Time will tell if Florida can keep up in the evolving NIL space as well after losing out on defensive lineman Darrell Jackson to Miami.
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