Florida Football: The running back room for the Gators is going to be fine in 2024

Despite losing Trevor Etienne to the transfer portal, the Gators should have plenty of options for RB2 in 2024
Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA

When Trevor Etienne opted to hit the transfer portal and take his talents to Athens, it felt like a massive blow to Florida Football. Etienne was by far the running back with the most home run potential for the Gators and his departure left a void Florida was going to have to fill.

But upon the conclusion of the Orange and Blue Game, its evident that while Florida may have some holes to clean up that the running back room has options to play with heading into 2024.

Florida Football: RB2

During his time in Gainesville, Montrell Johnson has been a steady and reliable running back and if needed could take the reigns as a workhorse back. He doesn't have the flash that Etienne had, which is why many wanted Etienne to get even more carries last year, but he does a lot of the little things right such as not run out of bounds against Missouri while trying to bleed the clock out.

Billy Napier prefers a rotation system though that sometimes goes three running backs deep, and he should have options to work with in 2024.

Treyaun Webb is the heir to the RB2 throne and showcased some flash in his limited opportunities last season. He had a pedestrian day on Saturday, getting six carries for ten yards.

KD Daniels is also a name many Gator fans are excited for after he shot up the recruiting rankings following a monster season his senior year of high school. Like Webb, he had a quiet day on Saturday going six carries for 13 yards.

But it was the play of Jadan Baugh on Saturday that injected hope into Gator Nation that the running back room is going to be fine. Baugh came to the Gators late in the recruiting cycle after flipping from Arkansas, and he put on a show with 12 carries for 77 yards.

Yes, this is a spring game and Baugh was able to take advantage of second string linebackers while Webb had to run into the waiting arms of Pup Howard, but Baugh also passed the eye test with his ability to shift and move like someone who weighs 180 pounds.

For the record, Florida lists him at 237 pounds.

And if one is keeping score at home, the man who would have had the reigns to the RB2/RB1 spot in Gainesville didn't exactly impress his new fanbase in Athens.

As Christian Goeckel of Dawgs Daily wrote following Georgia's spring game:

"It was a limited sample size, but the running back race might be a lot tighter than we thought. Florida transfer Trevor Etienne is the odds-on favorite to start, but he looked like the third best back on Saturday. "

As they say hope springs eternal, but Florida fans should feel confident in this unit heading into 2024.