The Gators didn’t have much choice but to reshape their team after the offense was gutted by the NFL and the defense was nearly unwatchable all season. One of head coach Dan Mullen‘s tried and true methods for team building is to use the transfer portal as a microwave fix while he slow-cooks a more sustainable solution. He set down that path this offseason, snagging a large group of transfers from the market who figure to make an instant impact on the 2021 squad.
246Sports published a ranking of the 100 most impactful transfers on Thursday, and two of the new additions to the Florida family got a mention. The first was running back Demarkcus Bowman, and a little further down the list, Antonio Shelton was also pegged.
Bowman’s cameo on this list is no surprise. Awarded the fourth spot among the nation’s top transfers, he’s a speedy running back with incredible explosion and balance. “Former five-star and top-25 player in the 2020 class, Bowman gets a new start in an offense that values the run game and 12 personnel,” they wrote. There’s a good chance that Bowman is the team’s primary back in a crowded and talented room.
Shelton’s placement as the 36th player on the list was a bit more unexpected. He wasn’t a heralded recruit in 2016 and hasn’t made a big name for himself in the years since. The logic here isn’t impossible to figure out, though. He’s an experienced starter coming from a good program and will have every likelihood of entering the season with a starting job in hand. He’s not a flashy addition, but there’s a certain virtue in set-it-and-forget-it lineman.
Two other players with recent connections were also included in the rankings. The third-ranked player, tight end Arik Gilbert, was briefly committed to transfer to Florida, but decommitted for undisclosed personal reasons. In addition, the top-ranked transfer is Henry To’oto’o, who had seriously considered playing for the Gators before settling on Alabama.
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