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Florida Gators pick up Tampa transfer in Alabama exodus

UF added a blue-chip defensive back who signed with Nick Saban last month.
 
Florida Gators football coach Billy Napier has added a blue-chip recruit from Tampa (by way of Alabama).
Florida Gators football coach Billy Napier has added a blue-chip recruit from Tampa (by way of Alabama). [ STEPHEN M. DOWELL | Orlando Sentinel ]
Published Jan. 22

The Florida Gators became the latest indirect beneficiary of Nick Saban’s retirement when they formally added blue-chip defensive back Jameer Grimsley on Monday.

Grimsley is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound athlete who played at Bloomingdale High and Tampa Catholic. He was the nation’s No. 189 overall recruit in the 2024 class, according to the 247Sports composite, and would have been a welcome addition to the early signing haul Billy Napier announced last month.

That didn’t happen. Grimsley visited the Gators late but instead signed to play for Saban at Alabama. The Crimson Tide touted his speed and athleticism on his bio. He enrolled at ‘Bama earlier this month, then entered the transfer portal after Saban’s retirement. He committed to the Gators on Sunday, and UF announced his signing Monday morning.

Grimsley boosts UF’s class to No. 13 nationally (including transfers) in the 247Sports composite team rankings. Though he’s technically a transfer, he still provides a jolt for Napier’s make-or-break recruiting class in the ‘24 cycle.

He’s not the only former Alabama player headed to the Sunshine State; Florida State has also been a major destination in the Crimson Tide’s exodus. FSU has added five blue-chip transfers from ‘Bama: linebacker Shawn Murphy, running back Roydell Williams, offensive lineman Terrence Ferguson, wide receiver Malik Benson and defensive back Earl Little.

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