Florida Football Bolster Tight End Room With Experienced Walk-On Caleb Rillos

Former Air Force TE Caleb Rillos committed to Florida as a walk-on transfer.
Dec 22, 2022; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Air Force Falcons tight end Caleb Rillos (84) catches a pass.
Dec 22, 2022; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Air Force Falcons tight end Caleb Rillos (84) catches a pass. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators have added their first commitment from the transfer portal in former Air Force tight end Caleb Rillos. 247 and On3 confirmed the experienced pass-catcher plans to enroll at UF and join the football program as a walk-on after graduating from the Air Force Academy in just three years.

Rillos, who is from Golden, Colorado, aims to pursue a Master's degree in mechanical engineering during his time in Gainesville. Despite the Air Force's run-heavy offensive attack limiting his receiving numbers, he made eight starts and appeared in 21 games over the past two seasons, hauling in three catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.

However, those modest stats do not showcase the 6'4" tight end's impressive athletic pedigree from his high school days. At Ralston Valley High, Rillos was a multi-sport star, earning first-team all-state honors in football as a senior in 2019. That year, he caught 57 passes for 766 yards and 12 touchdowns while also maintaining an exceptional 4.5 GPA to graduate as his class valedictorian.

For a Florida tight end room brimming with promising talents but lacking a proven veteran presence, Rillos provides valuable experience and upside. Rising sophomores Arlis Boardingham and Hayden Hansen ascended up the depth chart this spring, with Boardingham's athleticism complementing Hansen's well-rounded skill set.

Senior Keon Zipperer has been sidelined since injuring his knee last March, while Tony Livingston and converted defensive lineman Gavin Hill are still developing. Rillos may have an opportunity to carve out a role, especially with his extensive blocking background from Air Force's run-based offense.

The Gators are also high on incoming freshman Amir Jackson, an ultra-athletic prospect set to join the program this summer. But Rillos gives them a battle-tested walk-on option with two years of eligibility remaining.

Despite flying under-the-radar during his prolific high school career, Rillos drew interest from Florida and several other programs coming out of the Air Force Academy. If he can translate his impressive all-around skillset to the SEC level, the Gators may have found a hidden gem in the transfer portal to bolster their tight end room.