Florida football freshmen to watch: Kelby Collins
The final freshman on the list, and the only defensive player, is Kelby Collins out of Gardendale, Alabama. Collins was the Gators’ highest-rated commitment in the 2023 class, ranked as the 53rd-best player in the country and the 7th-best DL per 247 Sports.
Collins is expected to play behind Princely Umanmielen, filling a big hole in the Gators’ depth chart. Kelby will immediately be a part of the D-line rotation.
Even if Princely is on the field, Kelby has the versatility to also go inside and rush from the interior, so there will always be a place to put him.
As a recruit Kelby measured in at 6’4”-265, but since getting to Gainesville he’s put on around 15 pounds and has his weight close to 280.
Adding that extra size will allow him to get more snaps early on and be more effective.
What makes Kelby’s ceiling so high is how explosive he is off the edge. Early criticisms of him were that he was a little stiff in his lower body, but his quickness and powerful hands more than make up for any lacking flexibility.
Hopefully, we’ll see Collins be a big part of a defensive revolution in Gainesville. Between Todd Grantham and Patrick Toney, we haven’t had a whole lot to look forward to when the Gator defense has taken the field.
But getting young players with the potential to be superstars that are buying into what the new staff is doing will help Florida turn it around sooner rather than later.