Florida football hasn’t been as active as many other schools in the transfer portal, which has drawn the ire of some fans.
But Billy Napier and the Gators may get active in the portal now as a former high-level target has decided to transfer before his freshman season even began.
Derrick LeBlanc, a recruit in the 2023 cycle, committed to the Oklahoma Sooners out of high school but is now reconsidering and looking for a new home to begin his college career.
As a recruit, LeBlanc was a top-300 player in the country and a top-40 DL in his class, as well as earning a 4-star rating.
Out of Kissimmee, Florida, Derrick was a priority in-state target for Napier and the Gators.
He was such a high priority in fact that the Gators hosted him for 13 visits during his recruitment, eight more than the nearest school and nine more than Oklahoma.
Despite all those visits, the Gators couldn’t seal the deal but may look for a shot at redemption now that he’s back up for grabs.
In my opinion, assuming the Gators want him, they should be the early front-runner for Derrick. At the time of his commitment, Derrick’s top three were the Gators, the Sooners, and Penn State.
On3’s RPM said that the Gators had a solid advantage over Penn State a year ago, and they likely still retain that advantage being so close to home.
But, there’s also a good chance that the Gators opt to not pursue LeBlanc. Florida has no real need for a 2023 DL. They secured Kelby Collins, Kamran James, Will Norman, T.J. Searcy, and Gavin Hill, three of which ranked higher than LeBlanc as recruits.
So if LeBlanc makes it clear he wants to be a Gator, sure, why not welcome him in? But I actually don’t think we’ll see Napier and the Gators make a hard push for Derrick if that’s what’s needed.
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