These Florida football players made CBS Sports’ list of instant impact transfers

·3 min read

One of Florida head coach Dan Mullen’s greatest strengths besides being a quarterback whisperer is that he’s an NCAA transfer portal wizard.

He has landed several gems from the portal like wide receivers Van Jefferson, Trevon Grimes and Justin Shorter. He’s also beefed up his backfield and pass rush with the likes of Brenton Cox Jr., Jonathan Greenard and Lorenzo Lingard.

CBS Sports’ college football team took turns tabbing new transfers that could help their new program make the College Football Playoff.

David Cobb listed the Gators new defensive linemen Antonio Shelton and Daquan Newkirk immediately. Here’s a glimpse of what he wrote.

Defensive tackles rarely generate headlines, and the focus entering this season is rightly on Florida’s secondary and new starting quarterback Emory Jones. But the Gators would have been in a tight spot at defensive tackle if they hadn’t snagged two proven veterans from the portal. Shelton and Newkirk will help Florida’s defense improve, and that could bring the CFP into play for this team.

Former defensive tackles Kyree Campbell and Tedarrell Slaton left Florida in dire straights when they declared for the NFL draft. Not many defensive tackles saw meaningful snaps beside Campbell, Slaton and freshman Gervon Dexter. Cobb believes these new additions could potentially be upgrades to Campbell and Slaton.

Shelton racked up 3.5 sacks in seven games last season for Penn State, and Newkirk collected 28 tackles and three for a loss for Auburn. Both players should make an immediate impact for the Gators this season.

NEXT: The impact player on offense

Tom Fornelli named new Florida running back Demarkcus Bowman as his pick. He transferred from Clemson after one season with the Tigers.

The only team in the conference that ran the ball less often was Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense at Mississippi State. I’m betting on the Gators offense looking a lot different in 2021 with Emory Jones likely starting at quarterback and running back Demarkcus Bowman transferring in from Clemson. Bowman was one of the top players in the 2020 recruiting class and will bring a dimension to the Florida offense that was absent last season. It could also be a dimension that helps propel the Gators to their first CFP appearance.

Bowman should help Mullen and his offense return to a more healthy run-pass balance this season. But Florida’s backfield is loaded where it will be hard to earn the bulk of the carries. It returns starter Dameon Pierce, veterans Malik Davis and Nay’Quan Wright.

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