Florida football: WR Xzavier Henderson, EDGE Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr. enter transfer portal

By OnlyGators.com Staff
April 22, 2023
Florida football: WR Xzavier Henderson, EDGE Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr. enter transfer portal

Image Credit: X.H. / Twitter

With spring practice ending for the Florida Gators last week, it was expected that some additional attrition would come to the roster as the second transfer portal window opened April 15. Not expected were the two most recent names to enter the portal with juniors wide receiver Xzavier Henderson and EDGE Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr. — a pair of 2022 starters — now seeking new homes.

Powell-Ryland announced his decision in a Friday tweet. This after playing in 25 games across the last two seasons with five starts to conclude the 2022 campaign in place of replaced Brenton Cox, who was dismissed from the program. A former four-star prospect, he likely would have started or seen significant playing time at outside linebacker this season.

Junior Princely Umanmielen and redshirt sophomore Justus Boone will be the primary players at pass rushing positions with Umanmielen particularly standing out ahead of Powell-Ryland during spring practice.

Henderson is also officially in the portal with his transfer decision reported by multiple outlets, including 247Sports. A former four-star prospect rated No. 68 nationally, he played in nearly every game for Florida across the last three seasons, compiling a team-high 38 receptions for 410 yards and two touchdowns across 11 starts in 2022.

While Henderson has yet to live up to his recruiting evaluation, he was nevertheless going to compete for a starting job entering 2023, though sophomore Caleb Douglas and freshman Andy Jean came on strong during the spring and certainly would have pushed him for the job this summer. Four-star Eugene Wilson III (No. 106 nationally), who will enroll this summer, is also expected to push for immediate playing time.

The departures of Powell-Ryland and Henderson were unexpected, though not without reason given the aforementioned scenarios. However, for a Gators team hoping to put together a solid 2023 campaign while head coach Billy Napier continues to rebuild the roster, losing a pair of experienced, third-year players is undoubtedly going to hurt the team’s prospects.

Florida also had offensive lineman David Conner enter the portal, though his decision was known before the window opened.

If the trio follow through and leave the program, the Gators will have five open scholarships to fill as they continues to scour the portal for talent that will improve the roster. One of those spots is expected to be taken by a quarterback, but Florida is also seeking defensive backs and offensive linemen in addition to now considering wide receivers and EDGE rushers.

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