Five potential transfer targets for the Gators

The transfer portal opened up on December 5th and already has over 1,000 division one athletes in the system. The Florida Gators have 29 scholarship departures this offseason, which includes players that ran out of eligibility, transfers, and dismissals. I expect to see several more, which creates plenty of room for Florida to work within the transfer portal.

Gator Country provides five players that Billy Napier and the Florida Gators could target in the transfer portal.


Jaheim Bell was one of the bigger names entered into the transfer portal on Monday, December 5th. The junior has been one of the more productive tight ends in the SEC over the last two years. He’s totaled over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns during that span.

In 2021, Bell caught 30 passes for 497 yards and five touchdowns. He ran the ball seven times for 40 yards.

In 2022 things changed for Bell. He was used less as a receiving threat and more as a full back/ running back. He carried the ball 73 times for 261 yards and three scores. Bell caught just 25 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns.

Nonetheless, Bell displayed his versatility at the collegiate level by positively impacting the game in multiple ways.

Bell was once committed to the Gators in high school before deciding on South Carolina. With Florida’s desperate need at tight end, Bell’s athleticism, experience, and versatility makes too much sense for Billy Napier and the Florida Gators.

Florida will have to compete with a long list of suitors for the 6-3, 232-pound tight end.


With Anthony Richardson declaring for the NFL draft and Jalen Kitna dismissed from the team, there’s a huge opening at quarterback for the Florida Gators.

Florida is more than likely looking for a one or two-year rental as the Gators currently hold a commitment from 2023 QB Jalen Rashada. 4th year quarterback Devin Leary fits into this mold seamlessly.

2021 is the year Leary broke into the scene as a star quarterback. He completed 65.7% of his passes for 3,433 yards, 35 touchdowns, and five interceptions.

In 2022, Leary suffered an injury that kept him off the field for half the season.

Leary has a sister that currently attends the University of Florida. The 6-1, 215-pound QB is followed on Twitter by Florida receiver Ja’Markis Weston, QB coach Ryan O’Hara, and DL coach Sean Spencer.

NIL is going to play a huge factor in landing Leary, as he could go to almost any school in the country.


Banks was a three start prospect out of Southfield, Michigan in the class of 2021.

The 6-7, 300-pound defensive lineman entered the portal after his redshirt freshman season at Louisville. He appeared in just two games in 2022, totaling two tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble in 38 defensive snaps.

This is an intriguing prospect because of his size and eligibility. Banks will have three years at his next stop.

Florida was one of the first schools to offer Banks once he entered the portal. Sean Spencer visited Banks on Wednesday, December 7th, just two days after he entered the portal.

Banks has offers from Virgina Tech, Indiana, NC State, Kansas, Auburn, Oklahoma, UConn, Marshall, and App State.

The Gators will be looking to beef up their defensive line this offseason and Banks would be a step in the right direction.


This name might be familiar to some of you. O’Keefe caught seven passes for 85 yards and a touchdown against Florida in the Gasparilla Bowl.

He’s caught 184 passes for 2,002 yards and 15 touchdowns across his four years at UCF.

Billy Napier and Louisiana were one of O’Keefe’s 14 offers out of high school. He attended Round Rock HS in Texas. The 5-10, 175-pound receiver is a versatile receiver that can line up in the slot or out wide.

Florida could use at least one receiver in the portal to help bridge the gap for the freshman class. My only concern about recruiting the receiver position is the uncertainty at QB next year. Florida should try to jump on a portal QB quickly to provide clarity for transfer portal receivers.

NIL is expected to play a factor in O’Keefe’s decision.


Darrell Jackson, who started every game for the Miami Hurricanes in 2022, is looking to change schools for the 2nd time.

Jackson was a three-star recruit in Maryland’s 2021 recruiting class out of Gadsden County High School in Havana, Florida.

He spent one season with Maryland before transferring to Miami on April 7th, 2022. Last year, he visited Florida and Florida State before ultimately deciding on Miami.

The 6’6, 300-pound defensive lineman had 27 tackles (11 solo), three sacks, and one pass deflection this season. Jackson would likely immediately compete for a starting role at Florida.

I expect Florida State to be heavily involved with Jackson’s recruitment.

Jackson will need a waiver to compete in 2023 because he already used his one-time transfer.

The Florida Gators will need to be heavily involved in the transfer portal this offseason if they want to see major improvements in 2023.








Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.