Florida football: 3 players Gators could use from the transfer portal

There have been some Florida football players who plan to take advantage of the NCAA transfer portal, but why can’t it work the other way?

Florida football is experiencing some absences next season, thanks to the NCAA transfer portal.

Former starting quarterback Feleipe Franks is all but locked into transferring to Kansas to play for former LSU football coach Les Miles. Fellow quarterback Nick Sproles is also leaving, but it has not been determined to where yet.

Florida football tight end Lucas Krull is transferring to the University of Pittsburgh while offensive lineman Chris Bleich will play for Syracuse next season.

Outside linebacker Umstead Sanders is leaving the Gators while safety John Huggins has already joined Robert Morris University.

But, the transfer portal is supposed to work both ways.

Thus far, Florida football has five-star outside linebacker Brenton Cox, who transferred from Georgia. Cox will be eligible in the 2020 season.

Texas wide receiver Jordan Pouncey is also transferring to Florida football for the 2020 season.

There could be more.

Here are three players Florida football could use next season via the transfer portal:

STATE COLLEGE, PA – SEPTEMBER 14: Justin Shorter #6 of the Penn State Nittany Lions makes a catch in front of Jazzee Stocker #7 of the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first half at Beaver Stadium on September 14, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Justin Shorter, WR (Penn State)

Penn State wide receiver Justin Shorter was a 5-star prospect out of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey.

Now, there is already strong speculation that Shorter has decided on Florida football and is just waiting to make it official.

Here was his tweet from Dec. 27:

https://twitter.com/JustinShorter15/status/1210737894756769792

This season, Shorter had just 12 catches for 137 yards to go with just three catches for 20 yards the season before (hence why he’s transferring).

But, in high school, Shorter was the top national prospect, leaving some to wonder by Penn State coach James Franklin used the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder so infrequently.

Just imagine Florida football quarterback Kyle Trask picking from Trevon Grimes, Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and Jacob Copeland.

Yeah, just stew on it for a while.

Michael Thompson, DT (Oklahoma)

Sooners defensive tackle Michael Thompson is a former four-star athlete out of St. Louis, Missouri.

But, there is a risk with Thompson, who could fill in for graduate Adam Shuler. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament before taking a redshirt in 2018.

This season, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley elected to move Thompson to the offensive side of the ball, but that didn’t seem to pan out either. If he leaves the Sooners, it will be without ever playing a game.

Thompson is big (6-3, 291) and athletic. He was offered by the likes of Oregon, LSU, Michigan, Alabama and Ohio State.

It would be safe to assume he would rather be back on defense, which is where he would be used the most by Florida football.

Karter Johnson, DE (TCU)

Former four-star defensive end Karter Johnson is another player that has unrealized potential.

The problem is he would likely have to sit a season if he transfers. But, he’s big (6-3, 302) and deceptively quick off the ball.

He would have three years of eligibility, even if he sits the 2020 season. The issue is that his sitting does little to help the Florida football defensive line — which is losing both Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga on the ends.

Its possible head coach Dan Mullen needs to fill just one of those slots as redshirt sophomore Zachary Carter should be the top contender for Zuniga’s job at defensive end.

Next: One big Georgia recruit flips and more

Regardless, Johnson would potentially be a strong defensive pickup for Florida football, even if he doesn’t come online for a year.

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