Four Transfer Portal Additions Pave the Way for Instant Impact for the Florida Gators

by | Dec 26, 2023 | 0 comments

Florida Gators Transfer Portal

The Florida Gators recently welcomed 22 new players to their roster for the Class of 2024, four of whom joined through the transfer portal. This brings extensive experience to the team and these players to have an instant impact in the 2024 season.


“I think we added 7,000-plus snaps, over 100 starts with just those four players alone,” Billy Napier said of the four transfer portal additions and offered the Gators will be looking to add more. “We’ve got some more work to do in the portal. I do think the number you’re juggling here is the mid-year number. So we will have a little bit of flexibility there and have the capability of adding a few more players.”

Here’s a look at the four transfer portal additions so far:

Joey Slackman, DL

  • Appeared in 28 career games with Penn in three seasons, starting in 18 contests.
  • Logged 115 tackles (56 solo), 25 TFLs, 11 sacks and two forced fumbles.
  • Totaled 1,221 snaps in three seasons at Penn.
  • Named the 2023 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year after logging 50 total tackles (23 solo), 12 TFLs and 4 sacks.
  • Earned First-team All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy honors

Slackman, a top defensive lineman in the transfer portal, brings with him position versatility as a larger defensive end and can also play defensive tackle. Standing at 6’4″ and weighing 300 pounds, the transfer is expected to make an immediate impact and strengthen the front line along with Cam Jackson, Caleb Banks, Tyreak Sapp, Justus Boone, Kelby Collins, and LJ McCray, providing added depth to the team.

Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson, OL

  • Appeared in 38 career games with San Diego State in four seasons, starting in 36 contests and totaling 2,580 snaps.
  • Allowed nine pressures in 2023 and just six sacks and five hits in four seasons with San Diego State, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • In 2023, started 10 games. Played four games at right tackle and eight at left tackle.
  • In 2022, moved to right tackle and started 12 of 13 games.
  • in 2021, started 14 games at left tackle. Allowed only one sack.

Crenshaw-Dickson’s arrival fills a crucial need for Florida, as the team has experienced difficulties at both the left and right tackle positions. With Crenshaw-Dickson on board, the team can experiment with different combinations to ensure the best possible duo on the field. Additionally, Crenshaw-Dickson’s presence may allow Damieon George, who has struggled at tackle, to transition to guard in 2024.

Trikweze Bridges, DB

  • Appeared in 48 career games with Oregon in five seasons, starting in 17 contests and totaling 93 tackles (56 solo), four interceptions, 13 pass deflections, 2.5 TFLs and two forced fumbles.
  • Totaled 1,644 snaps during his five seasons with the Ducks.
  • Started in all 13 games with Ducks in 2022, totaling a career-high 49 total tackles (30 solo) and three interceptions that ranked tied for fourth in the Pac-12 that year.
  • Earned third-team all-Pac-12 honors by PFF in 2022.

Although primarily a cornerback at Oregon, Bridges plans to play safety at the University of Florida, where he believes his skill set will be better suited. The Gators share this sentiment and are eager to utilize his natural athleticism, size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds), speed, and football intelligence. Bridges’ experience playing both positions will allow for greater versatility on the field, adding depth to the secondary and providing leadership to 2023 freshmen safeties Jordan Castell and Bryce Thornton.

Chimere Dike, WR

  • Appeared in 44 career games with Wisconsin in four seasons, starting in 31 contests and totaling 97 receptions for 1,478 yards and nine touchdowns.
  • Totaled 2,176 snaps during his four seasons with the Badgers.
  • Earned an honorable mention on the 2022 All-Big Ten team, as well as Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2021 and 2022.

Obviously, the biggest factor in bringing in Dike is the familiarity between him and quarterback Graham Mertz from their time at Wisconsin. With Ricky Pearsall leaving and Caleb Douglas transferring, the Gators need another option to complement standout Tre Wilson. If Florida can replicate the 2022 production of the Mertz and Dike pairing, in addition to the improvement Mertz has shown since leaving Wisconsin, this combination may be overlooked as the offense aims to make further progress.

These four players, acquired through the transfer portal, bring extensive experience to the team for the 2024 season. The additions include Joey Slackman, a versatile defensive lineman; Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson, who fills a need at tackle; Trikweze Bridges, a cornerback transitioning to safety; and Chimere Dike, a wide receiver who has a connection to quarterback Graham Mertz. These additions strengthen the team’s depth and provide opportunities for improvement in key positions.

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