After the Gators posted a 5-7 record in 2023, Billy Napier needed to make a big splash in the offseason, instead, he watched some of his best players walk out the door, and many to SEC rivals. Trevor Etienne left for Georgia, Princely Umanmielen who led the team with seven sacks, transferred to Ole Miss, Scooby Williams who was third on the team in tackles is heading to Texas A&M, and, especially on the defense, the list goes on.
In all, Napier lost 22 players to the portal and only brought in 11 transfers. Notable among them were Wisconsin wide receiver Chimere Dike and San Diego State offensive tackle Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson. Napier also added Joey Slackman from Penn and Asa Turner from Washington to his defense while salvaging the offseason with high-upside additions like former four-star Jameer Grimsley from Alabama.
Florida did find talent in the portal, but most of it is coming from lower levels and the Gators have to hope those players can hang in the SEC. That’s a tough ask and far from a certainty, especially with guys like Slackman from an FCS school.
The losses on the field will be the primary reason for Napier’s inevitable firing, but his performance in the offseason will be a close No. 2.