Billy Napier has been busy trying to bolster Florida’s soccer roster for 2023. With the second-most players in the country leaving Florida via the transfer portal, Napier has tapped into the portal to sign nine new players.
Not all of these new players will make a big impact on the Florida Gators, so here at Hail Florida Hail we’re going to project which players will be household names among the Gator Nation next year and which will be on the bench.
Please note that this does not necessarily rank which players are the best, but simply which ones will have the most positive impact for Florida soccer in 2023.
Florida Football: New Kids on the Block
Coming out of high school, Ronald “Mannie” Nunnery was a low-rated three-star prospect who signed with Houston in the AAC. To his credit, Nunnery worked his way up the Cougars’ depth chart to earn significant playing time in 2022.
He was credited with 28 solo tackles in 2022 and has a size that wouldn’t be out of character in the SEC (6’2, 225 pounds).
But Nunnery will join a linebacker room likely to feature Shemar James and Derek Wingo and added two other transfer portal linebackers who have a higher pedigree than Nunnery.
Don’t get it wrong, Cameron Carroll is probably a better player than some of the next names on this list. Carroll has 100+ carries for Tulane in 2020 and in 2021. Injuries derailed his 2022 season as Tulane raced to win the AAC title and Cotton Bowl.
So why is Carroll so far down our list?
Because unless there’s an injury, it’s hard to see him take plays ahead of Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne. But considering that freshman Treyaun Webb will be the only other scholarship running back for Florida football in 2023, adding Carroll to the mix gives the Gators a solid insurance policy should he be needed.
Long term, Deuce Spurlock has the potential to make an impact on Florida football. He was a low-rated three-star recruit from Alabama in the class of 2022 who traveled north to Michigan and left after appearing in only one game.
Part of what makes Spurlock intriguing is that coming out of high school, he was 6-2, 200 pounds and is now 230 pounds. Now, armed with the size necessary to compete in the SEC, he wouldn’t look out of place on the field.
But Spurlock is still inexperienced, and it’s hard to imagine him emerging from Spring Camp as one of the starters listed for the 2023 season.