Florida football depth chart: Billy Napier addresses recruiting, losing streak as Gators prep for Missouri

By OnlyGators.com Staff
November 17, 2023
Florida football depth chart: Billy Napier addresses recruiting, losing streak as Gators prep for Missouri

Image Credit: UAA

Fresh off yet another disappointing loss, the Florida Gators now have just two chances to become bowl eligible before the season concludes. And wouldn’t you know it, Florida will now face a pair of top-10 opponents, first visiting the No. 9 Missouri Tigers on Saturday evening.

While there were some updates to the depth chart (see below), head coach Billy Napier spent this week largely taking an overview of the program at this juncture.

Most notable was Napier’s answer after the Gators lost three four-star commitments in a handful of days, pushing their class from No. 3 to No. 5 nationally, per the 247Sports team rankings.

“It’s a battle,” Napier said. “It’s not this time of year; it’s every day of the year. It’s part of the job. … You win some, you lose some. It’s highly competitive. It’s good to have some players that everybody wants, truth be known. It comes with the territory. Recruiting challenges your resiliency. …

‘We want players that have conviction about being here, that believe in the experience that they’re going to have at the University of Florida relative to the degree, all the things that come along with being an alumni here, the resources that we have to offer as a football program. Sometimes, you’re going to go through some things like [decommitments]. It’s nothing new. This is a year-round battle that we do. We do it every year.”

Napier faces the prospect of losing five straight games to end the season after losing three straight to conclude Year 1. Is it circumstantial that the Gators will play three top-10 teams and four top-15 teams out of their final five opponents? Undoubtedly. It’s a murder’s row. But Florida should be talented and well-coached enough to play better than it has recently, particularly on defense.

“They’ve all been through some adversity to some degree,” Napier said of the players. “… Toughness, endurance, faith, your ability to overcome [adversity], resiliency — those things are developed. You’re not born with them. So, you’ve got to go through tough things to develop some of those things. It will prove beneficial. … This is part of growth for a lot of guys on our team.”

Perhaps that is the case and the Gators will emerge stronger as a team in 2024, though Florida will open next season facing the nation’s toughest schedule with 11 of 12 games against Power Five competition (including UCF, Miami and Florida State all in the same season).

An upset in one of the final two games of the regular season would be some significant momentum the Gators could use going forward.

We are where we’re at. We have to compete. We have to stay in the present, work on the issues that we have, come up with solutions,” he said. “There’s a number of people that have turned it around, and there’s some that haven’t, right? Ultimately, Missouri is a good example. Eli [Drinkwitz] is a good coach. He’s hired well. He’s done a good job evaluating. He’s got some veteran players, and they’re playing at a high level. Patience is part of the game, but ultimately, you’ve got to produce, right? We all understand that when we get into the profession.”

Let’s take a look at the depth chart ahead of Saturday’s key game against Mizzou.


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

LT: Austin Barber, Kamryn Waites
LG: Richie Leonard IV, Knijeah Harris, Christian Williams
C: Kingsley Eguakun, Jake Slaughter
RG: Micah Mazzccua, Jalen Farmer
RT: Damieon George Jr., Lyndell Hudson II

No changes to the offensive depth chart this week.


F: Tyreak Sapp, Kamran James OR Kelby Collins
NT: Cam Jackson, Jamari Lyons OR Desmond Watson
DE: Caleb Banks OR Chris McClellan
JACK: Princely Umanmielen, T.J. Searcy
LB: Scooby Williams OR Teradja Mitchell OR Derek Wingo
LB: Mannie Nunnery, Jaden Robinson OR Derek Wingo
SAM: Mannie Nunnery, Scooby Williams

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

The “OR” designation was added for Williams and Mitchell after Williams struggled last week. Despite Devin Moore moving ahead of Kimber last week, he ultimately did not play at LSU after suffering a head injury in practice and is again listed as out this week. Sophomore safety Kamari Wilson remains unlisted.

Special teams

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

No changes to the special teams depth chart this week.

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