Every player Florida Gators inked on 2024 national signing day

National signing day has lost much of its shine thanks to the emergence of the early signing period, but the Florida Gators still added some key names to the program on Wednesday.

Fortunately, the winter transfer period allows teams to fill in the voids left once all the top recruits in the country are spoken for. Billy Napier was selective with who he brought in, but there are a few instant contributors on the list.

Here are all the players who chose Florida on national signing day.

DE George Gumbs (NIU)

George Gumbs spent the last two years with Northern Illinois, but he didn’t move the defensive side of the ball until the build-up to the 2023 season. Gumbs ended up starting the final seven games for NIU, ending the year with 32 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Florida lost a good amount of talent up front on defense, and Gumbs has a chance to immediately contribute in Gainesville.

OT Devon Manuel (Arkansas)

The offensive line struggled at Florida last year, so Billy Napier went and got a tackle with starting experience in the SEC. Devon Manuel started multiple games for Arkansas before hitting the transfer portal.

Billy Napier’s staff recruited Manuel back at Louisiana, so it was an easy decision to pick UF after visiting. Pro Football Focus gave Manuel an overall grade of 68.4, a pass block grade of 63.5 and a run block grade of 65.6.

S Asa Turner (Washington)

Asa Turner should provide Florida’s defensive back corps with a veteran presence that can force a turnover or two. The Gators struggled to win the turnover battle last year, and the secondary was routinely beaten. Turner should help put an end to those woes in his final year of eligibility.

Florida’s new defensive backs coach Will Harris, who coached out west with the Los Angeles Chargers, was a big reason Turner chose the Gators.

S DJ Douglas (Tulane)

Turner isn’t the only new safety in town. Florida also signed Tulane transfer DJ Douglas, who appeared in all 26 games for the Green Wave over the last two seasons. The obvious tie here is Gerald Chatman, Florida’s new defensive line coach who used to coach at Tulane.

Douglas started his college journey at Alabama. Now he’ll finish it back in the SEC as a Gator.

LB Grayson Howard (South Carolina)

Grayson Howard was a big target for Billy Napier’s recruiting staff during the previous cycle, but he wound up at South Carolina. Thanks to the transfer portal rules, and Howard’s willingness to leave the Gamecocks, the Gators landed an immediate starter at linebacker.

The expectation is for Howard to start right away at Florida alongside Shemar James.

QB Clay Millen (Colorado State)

Florida has a lot going for it at quarterback with Graham Mertz returning and DJ Lagway beginning his college career, but the Gators still needed to add some depth through the transfer portal over the winter.

Enter former Colorado State signal caller Clay Millen. He’ll serve as Florida’s depth option should Mertz and/or Lagway go down this year.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire