Where could transfer DB DJ Douglas fit into the Gators’ defense?

The Gators added their 8th transfer portal commitment of the offseason as Tulane defensive back DJ Douglas pledged to the Gators on Saturday.

After a two-year stint as a preferred walk on for Alabama, Douglas spent three seasons with the Green Wave, appearing in 36 games on defense during that span. Douglas has combined for 78 tackles (58 solo), four interceptions, seven pass deflections, and one tackle for loss in his career. Douglas also had one dropped interception in 2023, according to PFF.

Douglas brings experience to a Gators’ secondary that found two true freshmen leading their safety unit throughout the 2023 season. (Castell / 11 starts, Thornton / 4 starts).

The 6’0, 205-pound safety has the versatility to move around Florida’s defense, logging 201 snaps in the box, 277 at safety, and 157 in the slot (nickel / STAR) with Tulane in 2023. This kind of versatility is encouraging considering Florida lost starting nickel cornerback Jaydon Hill to the transfer portal this offseason.


Across 653 snaps in 2023, Douglas recorded three interceptions and two pass break ups while allowing 23 receptions on 32 targets for 353 yards and four touchdowns. His coverage grade of 75.1 ranked 4th in Tulane’s secondary amongst players with 100+ snaps and would have ranked 2nd on the Gators’ defense a year ago. In 2022, Douglas did not allow a touchdown across 158 coverage snaps.

In run support, Douglas recorded a grade of 60.5, which is considered fairly average by PFF’s standards but still ranks ahead of Bryce Thornton (59.3) and Miguel Mitchell (59.1), who combined for 12 starts a year ago. Douglas missed 12 tackles in run support in 2023.

The one glaring weakness in Douglas’ game is his tackling numbers. The Alabama native missed 16 tackles in 2023 for a missed tackle percentage of 21.9% while posting a tackling grade of 48.1, which ranked 25th on Tulane’s defense, according to PFF. The Gators had 7 defenders (100+ snaps) record a missed tackle percentage of 20% or more in 2023, including safeties Bryce Thornton and Miguel Mitchell. RJ Moten recorded a missed tackle percentage of 40%, but only played 95 snaps while logging six tackles.

Missed tackles have been a trend for Douglas throughout his career as he missed nine tackles in 2022 for a missed tackle percentage of 26.5%, the 4th highest mark on Tulane’s defense amongst players with 100+ snaps.


It’s difficult to pinpoint what role Douglas will have on the Gators in 2024 as Florida is still targeting a number of players in the secondary throughout the transfer portal. As of now, this appears like a depth piece, which is very important for any college football team. Douglas could compete for a starting spot at safety, but both Bryce Thornton and Jordan Castell return from last season’s squad and will enter their second year at the position after promising playing time as true freshmen. He could also compete for a starting spot at nickel / STAR with second year corner Sharif Denson, who played sparingly in year one.

Competition is important as you move through spring and fall camp, and that’s what the Gators added in DJ Douglas for potentially multiple position groups given his versatility.







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.