Florida Football: With Gators as a finalist, Elijhah Badger is committing on Friday

Florida is a finalist for productive Arizona State transfer WR Elijhah Badger, who racked up 1,579 yards the past two years.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators have emerged as one of three finalists for highly sought-after Arizona State transfer wide receiver Elijhah Badger.

Badger was on campus for a visit this week and according to reports from On3 and Swamp247, he is slated to make his decision this Friday.

Badger is coming off back-to-back productive seasons for the Sun Devils, hauling in 135 catches for 1,579 yards and 10 touchdowns over the last two years. His ability to move the chains and create missed tackles makes him one of the top receivers on the transfer market.

The 6'1" wideout was particularly dominant against Colorado, torching the Buffaloes' secondary for 271 yards and 20 catches over the last two seasons. His best game in 2022 came against Colorado when he caught 8 balls for 137 yards.

Badger was responsible for 28.3% of Arizona State's passing first downs in 2022 and forced 25 missed tackles, the second-most of any receiver in the country. His production was just the continuation of a prolific high school career at Folsom High in California, where he amassed 3,398 yards and 52 touchdowns.

Now, after entering the transfer portal, Badger is choosing between his hometown Arizona Wildcats, the national runner-up Washington Huskies, and Billy Napier's Gators.

We profiled Badger a couple weeks ago and at the time we said:

"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 up field.

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

While Badger doesn't have elite top-end speed, his crisp route running, strong hands, and knack for creating separation could make him a go-to target for Graham Mertz in 2024. His presence could open up opportunities for other receivers to make plays as well.

And given a lack of proven depth at wide receiver beyond Tre Wilson, Badger's addition could be a massive boon for the Gators in 2024.