Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Gators

Dan Mullen is not worried about Florida Gators’ attrition

At least nine players have entered the transfer portal, and at least two other signees won’t make it to campus.
Coach Dan Mullen, of Florida, speaks during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Coach Dan Mullen, of Florida, speaks during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Published Jul. 16
Updated Jul. 16

HOOVER, Ala. — Between Gators entering the transfer portal (at least nine) and 2019 recruits not arriving (at least two others), Florida’s scholarship numbers are down.

Coach Dan Mullen doesn’t know the exact number off the top of its head – it’s not less than 78 of the 85 the NCAA allows — and he isn’t worried about it, either.

“I think it’s kind of the new era of college football,” Mullen said during SEC media days at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham – Wynfrey Hotel. “Unless the NCAA does something to change the rules to let you sign over with guys that are transferring out, it’s going to be hard to have a full roster.”

Related: RELATED: Florida Gators’ Feleipe Franks is already an MLB draftee. What about NFL?

Mullen has some tools available to boost that number, whatever it is. Expect UF to award a scholarship to a walk-on player or two. The Gators have a couple initial spots available, which means a grad transfer is still a possibility, even this close to the start of the season. Mullen said after the spring game that he was specifically looking for an offensive lineman to add to a group that loses four starters.

“What you’re trying to do now is balance out the numbers over several years,” Mullen said. “How many initials do we want to try to make sure we save for people leaving and the number of transfers as you continue to move (forward)?”

Mullen said he wasn’t surprised that two of his blue-chip 2019 recruits (linebacker Diwun Black and offensive lineman Deyavie Hammond) failed to qualify academically, and that’s not an abnormally high number, either. Those risks are known beforehand, and Mullen believes they’re risks worth taking. Maybe a player’s grades take off late and he can make it on campus. Or even if he goes to junior college or prep school, there’s a chance he joins the program in another year or two.

“I think a lot of them do, because of the reasons they wanted to come play for you in the first place,” Mullen said. “Obviously it’s like a speed bump for them in their career. They go somewhere else and get the grades and then come have a successful career.”

Related: RELATED: Five things juco recruiting can teach us about the transfer portal

At least two signees did that when Mullen was at Mississippi State — tight end Artimas Samuel and defensive back Lashard Durr. Reggie Nelson did the same for the Gators, where he won was a star on UF’s 2006 title team.

But none of that will help the Gators this season, and it probably won’t help them in 2020 or ’21, either.

Mullen remains unfazed. The Gators were down a couple spots from the 85 limit last year, too, and the transfer portal is zapping depth across the rest of the SEC and country.

“I think we were kind of expecting the (signee) numbers to be a certain way and the way they are,” Mullen said. “But the transfer thing, you can’t really control in today’s world."

Related: READ MORE: Five things we’ve learned about the NCAA transfer portal

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Joe Burrow poses with his trophy in New York after joining Billy Cannon (1959) as LSU Heisman winners. [JASON SZENES  |  AP]
    The quarterback dominates the voting in a record landslide.
  2. In this Dec. 7, 2019, file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) warms up before the SEC championship game against Georgia, in Atlanta. [JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP]
    Matt Baker put two defensive linemen on his ballot, but neither could top the LSU star quarterback.
  3. Florida coach Dan Mullen watches his team take the field for pregame warmups before facing Georgia at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville on Nov. 2. The recruiting class so far for the Gators gives him plenty of reasons to be giddy. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    With the early signing period looming, UF is recruiting at a championship level.
  4. Assistant Attorney General Brian Benzkowski announces charges against ten former National Football League (NFL) players who are accused of defrauding an NFL health care program, at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. [CLIFF OWEN  |  AP]
    Former Jefferson High star and former Florida Gator, Donald “Reche” Caldwell is among two others who could be charged.
  5. LSU players celebrate after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Atlanta. LSU won 37-10. [JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP]
    “Members of Congress care about college sports. They recognize how important it is to American society."
  6. Running back DeeJay Dallas (13) and Miami will spend bowl season in Shreveport, La., for the Independence Bowl. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    Starting Dec. 20, there is almost a full month of couch potato fun ahead if you love college football.
  7. Florida coach Dan Mullen has led the Gators to consecutive New Year's Six bowl appearances. [JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP]
    This will be UF’s first Orange appearance since Steve Spurrier’s final game
  8. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates after the Southeastern Conference championship against Georgia on in Atlanta. LSU won 37-10. [JOHN AMIS  |  AP]
    LSU slides up to No. 1 in the final rankings of the season.
  9. Florida guard Ques Glover tries to drive on Butler forward Bryce Golden during the first half in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. [MICHAEL CONROY  |  AP]
    UF sees its four-game winning streak come to an end on the road.
  10. Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin celebrates his team's final touchdown in its victory over UAB in the Conference USA championship game on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Boca Raton. [MIKE STOCKER  |  AP]
    After leading the Owls to victory in the Conference USA title game on Saturday, the coach announces he’s leaving for the Rebels.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement