Florida football depth chart: Gators release Week 1 lineup at Utah to open 2023 season

By OnlyGators.com Staff
August 28, 2023
Florida football depth chart: Gators release Week 1 lineup at Utah to open 2023 season

Image Credit: GatorsFB on Twitter

With just 72 hours until kickoff of the 2023 season, the Florida Gators on Wednesday released their first official depth chart for Year 2 under head coach Billy Napier. With the No. 14 Utah Utes awaiting on Thursday night, the Gators did not have many surprises on the depth chart.

As expected, redshirt junior Graham Mertz was double confirmed as the starting quarterback. Junior Montrell Johnson Jr. technically remains ahead of sophomore Trevor Etienne on the running back depth chart, though that ultimately does not mean much given how frequently both will be utilized.

Perhaps most notable is the lack of “OR” designations on offense. However, there are 13 total with the vast majority coming on the defensive side. Florida opened the season with only six “OR” designations each of the last two years, so this is a harkening back to the 15 such labels on the 2019 depth chart.

Let’s take a look at the depth chart ahead of the Gators’ first game of the season.

* On injury report | ^ Not defined


QB: Graham Mertz, Jack Miller III*, Max Brown, Micah Leon
RB: Montrell Johnson Jr., Trevor Etienne, Treyaun Webb
TE: Dante Zanders, Hayden Hansen, Jonathan Odom
TE: Tony Livingston, Jonathan Odom, Arlis Boardingham
WR: Ricky Pearsall, Eugene Wilson III, Aidan Mizell
WR: Caleb Douglas, Marcus Burke, Andy Jean
WR: Kahleil Jackson, Ja’Quavion Fraziars, Taylor Spierto

LT: Austin Barber, Jordan Herman OR Bryce Lovett
LG: Richie Leonard IV, Knijeah Harris, Christian Williams
C: Kingsley Eguakun*, Jake Slaughter, Knijeah Harris
RG: Micah Mazzccua, Knijeah Harris, Jalen Farmer
RT: Damieon George Jr., Lyndell Hudson II, Bryce Lovett^

With Eguakun injured, Slaughter has won the backup center job and would start in his place if necessary. Napier has curiously split the tight end position with Livingston, who was not expected to factor as more than depth, earning the nod atop his category. Jackson, a walk-on, has surprisingly earned a starting job (at least for Week 1). Similarly surprising is Jean as a third-time receiver.


F: Tyreak Sapp, Jack Pyburn OR Kamran James OR Kelby Collins
NT: Cam Jackson, Desmond Watson, Jamari Lyons
DE: Caleb Banks OR Chris McClellan*, Will Norman
JACK: Princely Umanmielen, T.J. Searcy OR Jack Pyburn
LB: Scooby Williams OR Teradja Mitchell OR Derek Wingo
LB: Shemar James, Mannie Nunnery OR Jaden Robinson
SAM: Scooby Williams, Mannie Nunnery, Ja’Markis Weston

CB: Jason Marshall Jr., Ja’Keem Jackson OR Aaron Gates
CB: Jalen Kimber OR Devin Moore, Dijon Johnson
STAR: Jaydon Hill OR Jadarrius Perkins, Sharif Denson
S: Miguel Mitchell, Kamari Wilson OR Bryce Thornton
S: Jordan Castell, R.J. Moten OR Bryce Thornton

It was expected that Hill or Perkins and Kimber or Moore would emerge as starters at their respective positions, but it appears Napier is still deciding on both roles. Castell, who most believed was recruited as a cornerback, will start as a true freshman. This is a particularly a surprise given expectations that Wilson, who flashed in 2022, or Moten, who transferred into the program, would start at safety.

Special teams

KO: Trey Smack, Adam Mihalek
PK: Adam Mihalek, Trey Smack
P: Jeremy Crawshaw, Jacob Watkins
H: Jeremy Crawshaw, Jacob Watkins
LS: Rocco Underwood, Gannon Burt
KR: Trevor Etienne, Jason Marshall Jr., Montrell Johnson Jr., Eugene Wilson III
PR: Ricky Pearsall, Eugene Wilson III

The kickers were previously given an “OR” designation as they split kickoff and field goal duties. Napier has instead decided to split the position on the depth chart. Both returners are starting offensive playmakers, and four of the six returning positions are starters.

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