Everything Billy Napier said about transfer portal additions for the Florida Gators

by | Mar 1, 2024 | 0 comments

Grayson Howard Preseason Transfer Portal

As spring practice approaches, it’s a good time to revisit remarks from Florida Gators Head Coach Billy Napier about the transfer portal additions for the 2024 squad. The Gators have signed 11 players from the transfer portal. Napier commented on all but one of these transfers, offensive lineman Devon Manuel, during his Signing Day press conferences.


Joey Slackman, DL

Joey was the conference Player of the Year at Penn, 6’3″ 1/2, 295. He’s got good length. He’s a former wrestler. The film was impressive. I think he got 20-plus offers pretty quickly in the cycle. We started communication. He came on an official visit.

I’ll tell you, I wasn’t expecting the height and length that walked in the door, but more importantly, when this guy started engaging our staff and people throughout the organization, he made an impression. He left an impression. This guy’s got leadership. He’s got a motor, he’s driven, he’s ambitious, and he’s got a plan.

But the number one thing I would say about Joey, our players love the guy. This guy leaves campus after an official visit, and I’m getting calls and texts every day about Joey Slackman and how, man, we’ve got to get that guy on our team. I think just his personality and demeanor resonated with our players, all parts of our team, not just that position group, but offensive players, specialists, defensive players.

So I was really impressed with Joey and certainly excited about getting him here and getting to work.

Trikweze Bridges, DB

Trikweze Bridges is height, weight, speed, ton of production. The guy has played corner but has got some position flexibility. He can play safety. Very intelligent. Was on the leadership council at Oregon. He’s got one year of eligibility, and I think looking to create some more value for himself a little bit closer to home, being from Lanett, Alabama.

So really excited about the flexibility that he offers and experience that he has.

Chimere Dike, WR

Chimere Dike is a receiver from Wisconsin who played with Graham. Chim is 6’1″ and change, about 185 pounds; he’s a 10.8 100-meter guy. Very productive two years ago. He’s got flexibility inside and outside. Polished player. Very consistent, dependable player that I think brings some speed.

But he’s a very smart, mature, aware player. He’s got a ton of experience. Certainly there’s a relationship with Graham (Mertz) there that helped.

Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson, OL

Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson, 6’7″, 310, 35 arm. He’s played, I think, 2,500 snaps. He started 35-plus games. Very productive player, All-Conference player in the Mountain West, and equally as impressive when you meet him.

Good complementary — good compliments out there related to teammate, toughness, leadership, smart player. Looking to play against better competition. Very similar dynamic to maybe what [O’Cyrus Torrence] was trying to do when he came here.

DJ Douglas, S

DJ Douglas is a player that we’re excited about, the safety from Tulane. He’s impressed so far. He’s got a temperament about him. He’s a leader, He’s a good communicator. Think there’s some continuity in the system he played in and he’s an alpha and he’s a worker. His work ethic has impressed so far. He’s 6-foot, 205, came from Thompson High School in Alabama, which is a really good football program. And then certainly playing at Tulane for Coach Fritz, there’s a ton of respect there in terms of the type of program that they run. So I had a couple of my former players that were on that team that knew DJ and they spoke highly of his behalf.

Jameer Grimsley, CB

“Grimsley, we all know is 6-foot-2 and change. He’s like 190 pounds. He’s a two-way player, a guy that played receiver as well. But big, long corner, heavy-handed, balls skills, was a little bit banged up as a senior but I think we feel really good about the skill set there. Certainly keeping a player from the state of Florida at home. And Jameer is a Gator. He grew up dreaming of playing for the Gators and we were able to get that done.”

Asa Turner, S

“Asa Turner, 26 starts, 6-foot-2 and change. I think he’s 208, productive, good tackler, leader on the team. Had a voice. I think we really went for high character, leadership traits, production in the portal. That was kind of the theme of the year. Like OK, if we’re going to add players at this point in their career, they need to really be team-oriented and high character, bring some things to the team other than just the production on the field. So, I think we’ve learned that a little bit over time. I think it’s so far so good in that regard.”

George Gumbs, EDGE

“Gumbs is 6-4, he weighs like 242, unique story right started as a walk on, Chicago, Simeon HS, started as a walk-on receiver, moved to tight end and then last year made the move to pass rusher, and then kind of took off and had a great year, so we’re getting a two-year player that’s got some traits there, maybe could help us on third down, and I think his best football in terms of being a defensive football player is in front of him.”

Grayson “Pup” Howard, LB

“To get Pup Howard back, I think with Pup we were really close, like one phone call away, in the beginning. I think Pup, Pup walking around here at 6-foot-4, 240 inside backer, you know and just the intelligence, that he brings, the character, the work ethic, I mean the guy is wired right, he’s what you want, so, we need more of that, we’ve got to keep the good players in our state at home and it’s a good win for us to get him back.”

Clay Millen, QB

“It was a big piece especially for the future and spring practice and development of our team but we’re getting a guy who started the whole year, a ton of production, got injured last year. Dad playing the National Football League and just a confident player, and a guy that spins it really well, understands football, can communicate, really did a nice job of articulating what his offense was doing and he’s moved the team quite a bit in his career. I’m excited to watch him. I think he will continue to get bigger, stronger, too, as he goes.”

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