Florida Football: In the end, the Gators wind up with a talented 2024 class

Florida landed a loaded 2024 recruiting class thanks to the addition of several elite transfers like offensive lineman Jason Zandamela.
Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier.
Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier. / Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun / USA

As Billy Napier enters Year 3 leading the Florida Gators program, he's assembled an impressive 2024 recruiting class bolstered by elite talent from the transfer portal. The latest addition is former USC offensive lineman Jason Zandamela, the No. 7 overall transfer prospect and top interior O-line transfer according to 247Sports' rankings.

Zandamela's commitment moved the Gators up to No. 7 in 247's composite team recruiting rankings for 2024, reflecting the impressive overall haul Napier has put together. With 33 total new additions between high school signees and transfers, Florida has reloaded its roster with an experienced combination of high-upside talents and proven veterans.

"We've got a hungry group. We've got a group that's got something to prove," Napier said during spring practice. "This is the most experienced group that we've had. I think as a coach, as an organization, we want to try to build a veteran team. I would say that we have that."

Part of that veteran experience comes from Napier's 13 transfer additions, several of whom have already enrolled and participated in spring ball. Former Penn defensive lineman Joey Slackman, ex-South Carolina linebacker Pup Howard, and former Washington safety Asa Turner headline an impressive group of plug-and-play starters.

The high school recruiting group features elite talents as well, most notably Willis, Texas five-star quarterback DJ Lagway, Daytona Beach edge rusher LJ McCray, and Maryland linebacker Aaron Chiles. In total, Napier's staff signed 20 high school prospects, with four more set to arrive over the summer.

Building a combination of youthful upside and experienced depth has been a priority as Napier looks to push Florida back into SEC contention after an 11-14 start his first two seasons.

"We've got young men that are incredible, that have a voice," Napier stated. "I think the leadership on this team is the best it's been. There's character, there's accountability."