Florida Football: Elijhah Badger would be a luxury item with no downside for Gators

The Arizona State wide receiver will be making a visit to Florida
Alex Gallardo-USA TODAY Sports

As the spring transfer portal winds down, it has been a quiet one for Florida Football. The Gators had just two players enter the portal during the spring period and thus far have grabbed one out of the portal (Jason Zandamela).

However, one of the potential weak spots for the Gators hasn't been fully addressed this offseason, and Florida will have one final chance next week to bolster the group.

Florida Football: Badger Badger Badger

After missing on Justus Ross-Simmons from Colorado State, Billy Napier and crew have been focusing their efforts on wide receiver Elijhah Badger from Arizona State.

Badger's stat line speaks for itself, with two straight seasons of at least 65 catches and at least 700 yards. But what stands out on film is that once he catches the ball, there is no wasted movement in getting up field. He simply catches, plants his foot, and goes upfield.

Bagder averaged 8.4 yards after catch in 2023. By comparison, Tre Wilson averaged 7.9.

There have been rumblings of a back injury and whether Badger would still be the same player. There is also the reality that Florida is already sitting on 85 scholarship players, so Napier would have to play a shell game to get Badger on the roster.

With his visit planned for next week according to 247 and On3, this is a shell game Napier needs to be willing to play.

College football is as much a talent acquisition game as it is a strategic chess match. Florida's roster has a lot of bright spots heading into 2024, but question marks surrounding wide receiver depth could dampen that shine. Wilson has the potential to be 1st team All-SEC, but behind him is a motley crew of unproven guys who may or may not be the answer.

If Badger comes in and wins the starting job along the outside over guys like Kahleil Jackson, Chimere Dike, Aidan Mizell, and Marcus Burke, then it's a roster upgrade for the Gators and that's a win.

If the injury to Badger limits him and he doesn't break through, it was still worth the attempt for a high upside player, even if it means shell gaming out a low ceiling scholarship guy.

Elijhah Badger will not be the difference between winning the SEC or not in 2024. But he has the upside potential for Florida to go 8-4 vs 6-6 or worse. And heading into a make-or-break season for Napier, he needs all the upside potential he can get.