Florida Football: Justus Ross-Simmons could add a much needed piece to Gators roster

The wide receiver from Colorado State will be in town this weekend for a visit
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

If one were to break down the roster for Florida Football on the offensive side of the ball in 2024, there is plenty of talent to go around. The quarterback room is set, people feel better about the running back and offensive line room after the spring game, and tight end seems to be a position that should be fine.

And while the wide receiver room does have Tre Wilson, finding proven production beyond him is a bit of a challenge. After picking up Chimere Dike during this winter transfer portal, Florida is looking around to potentially pick up a sought-after receiver in the spring portal.

Florida Football: Roster Building

The problem for Florida entering the 2024 season is that beyond Wilson there just isn't anyone on the roster one could for sure point at and say "This is the one."

Dike came in from the transfer portal, but he is coming off a down season at Wisconsin with just 19 catches. While he did have success two seasons ago while Graham Mertz was still there, he did so lined up in the slot in 2022 before moving out wide in 2023. Combined with a quiet spring game and the fact that Wilson is more effective in the slot himself, Dike has to prove himself before we anoint him as the solution.

Kahleil Jackson had 21 catches for 251 yards last season while mixing around between the slot and out wide. Marcus Burke and Andy Jean both had had six catches. Aidan Mizell flashed in the spring game with a touchdown and Tank Hawkins drew rave reviews all spring but had a quiet spring game.

If you are keeping score at home, that's six receivers not named Tre Wilson the Gators are looking at who had a combined 54 catches for 799 yards in 2023.

This is where the Gators are hoping Justus Ross-Simmons enters the picture. The transfer from Colorado State caught 45 passes for 705 yards last season as an almost exclusively out wide option. Listed at 6'3" and 205 pounds, Ross-Simmons matches Jackson and Burke in size.

As reported by Inside The Gators and On3, Ross-Simmons is slated to be in Gainesville this upcoming weekend for an official visit with the Gators. He has heard from 41 schools since entering the portal and was in Syracuse for a visit last weekend.

The returning receivers noted above could step up and have a solid season. And Ross-Simmons is far from a superstar lock that will the savior for the 2024 season.

But college football is as much a talent acquisition business as it is anything else, and after a relatively low-key winter transfer portal followed by a spring game where Burke was the only receiver not name Wilson to catch at least three passes, Florida needs to add as much talent as it can to the group and let them fight it out over the summer to see who steps up.