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Billy Napier could’t care less about Paul Finebaum’s 2022 prediction

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ESPN analyst Paul Finebaum is a fan of Billy Napier, but he thinks the Gators will struggle in a transition year. Finebaum attempted to temper the expectations of Florida fans on Monday as he appeared on “McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning.”

“I think fans better beware that this is not going to be a great team,” Finebaum said. “I never in my life thought saying that getting to a decent bowl game would be considered a success at Florida. That’s blasphemous. But I think that’s about it because they’ve got a difficult schedule. You really can’t find a more treacherous beginning than they have. And I think they’ll be struggling.

His quote made the rounds and eventually got to Napier, who recently began his spring speech schedule. As many may expect, Florida’s new head coach defended his team and dismissed the claim as another hot take from the media, according to a Gators Online report.

“I could (not) care less about what Paul Finebaum says. We’ve got a group of great individuals here,” said Napier. “We have some positions where we gotta hope they stay healthy. We need to be aggressive in the transfer portal. We got a good group of ones.”

The depth issue is a discussion that’s picked up in recent weeks after a one-sided spring game shed more light on the problem at hand. Napier has talked about being active in the transfer portal since the second week of spring practices, and a slew of talented players should become available with summer rapidly approaching.

Still, Finebaum’s point of Napier’s full impact not be evident on the field in 2022 seems realistic. Transfers can only fill so many voids and it’s very hard for freshmen to break through in the SEC. It’s a criticism Gator Nation is likely to hear over the summer, but a win over Utah to kick off the season would change the narrative very quickly.

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