Florida Football loses veteran linebacker to Transfer Portal

Veteran LB Mannie Nunnery entered the transfer portal after one season at Florida.
Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA

The Florida Gators have suffered their first departure via the NCAA transfer portal during the post-spring transfer window. Veteran linebacker Mannie Nunnery has decided to enter the portal and continue his career elsewhere after spending just one season in Gainesville.

According to a report from Jacob Rudner of 247Sports, Nunnery will be leaving the Gators program with one year of eligibilty remaining. The super senior redshirted in 2019 and retained an additional year due to COVID-19 in 2020.

Nunnery began his collegiate career at Houston, where he spent four seasons before transferring to Florida last year. During his time with the Cougars, he racked up 81 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, and established himself as an impact special teams player by blocking three kicks.

The hope was that the experienced linebacker could provide quality depth and special teams ability when he joined the Gators in 2022. Nunnery ended up recording 28 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 0.5 sacks while starting three games for Florida's defense last fall.

However, his role seemed to diminish during spring practice this year. Despite withdrawing his name from the transfer portal during the winter window, Nunnery played primarily with the second-team defense in the spring game on Saturday and did manage to record an interception in that contest.

With Nunnery's impending departure, the Gators will be counting on veteran starters Shemar James and Derek Wingo to lead the linebacker unit. Reserves like RJ Moten, Deuce Spurlock II, Jaden Robinson, and Grayson "Pup" Howard will also likely see increased reps. Incoming freshman Myles Graham, an early enrollee, provides additional depth along with 2024 signee Aaron Chiles, a top-100 recruit who arrives this summer.

Nunnery's transfer puts Florida at the 85-man scholarship limit as the NCAA's transfer portal window just opened on April 15th and closes on April 30th. The loss of an experienced linebacker with multiple years of Power 5 experience is certainly a blow, but the Gators have assembled promising young talent to try and offset Nunnery's departure.