GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida has received a jolt of depth and talent for spring football.
Over the past week, the Gators welcomed 13 mid-year enrollees to campus, the most they’ve ever added to their football roster in January.
“We got a bunch of new guys coming in here at the break,” UF coach Jim McElwain said after the bowl game. “Just know we’ve got some good guys coming. Lots, believe me. I’m excited as heck.”
The last player to arrive was four-star quarterback Feleipe Franks, who made it to Gainesville on Sunday night after competing in Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Franks is one of three new quarterbacks who have joined the team, along with fellow freshman Kyle Trask and graduate transfer Austin Appleby. They will be part of a five-quarterback competition this spring with incumbent starter Treon Harris and Luke Del Rio, who is considered the favorite to win the job in 2016.
Florida brought in a trio of highly touted junior college transfers — running back Mark Thompson, wide receiver/athlete Dre Massey and kicker Eddy Pineiro. All three are expected to contribute immediately and contend for starting jobs, particularly Pineiro.
He and Thompson are each the top-ranked junior college prospects at their positions, while Massey is ranked the No. 5 wide receiver and will play several spots on offense for McElwain.
Four-star recruits Joshua Hammond and Freddie Swain also join a receiving corps that only returns one proven playmaker in record-setting wideout Antonio Callaway.
“He’s pretty good, isn’t he? Yeah,” McElwain said of Callaway. “We’re going to add some other pieces to him, too.”
After losing their top quarterback, running back and wide receiver from 2015, the aforementioned additions will greatly benefit the Gators this spring.
UF enrolled two prep linemen in offensive tackle Stone Forsythe and defensive end Jordan Smith, a four-star recruit who could see the field as a freshman. Because of the lack of depth at linebacker, David Reese will also get an opportunity for early playing time if he shows promise in the spring.
McArthur Burnett and Chauncey Gardner, both first-team all-state selections, are two early enrollees who should definitely play right away at cornerback, a position that only returns four players for next season.
QB Austin Appleby, 6-5, 239, North Canton (Ohio) Hoover/Purdue University
QB Feleipe Franks, 6-6, 218, Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla
QB Kyle Trask, 6-5, 210, Manvel (Texas)
RB Mark Thompson, 6-2, 230, Dodge City (Kansas) junior college
WR Joshua Hammond, 6-1, 180, Hallandale (Fla.)
WR/ATH Dre Massey, 5-10, 184, Goodman (Miss.) Holmes junior college
WR Freddie Swain, 6-0, 185, Citra (Fla.) North Marion
OL Stone Forsythe, 6-7, 325, Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange
DE Jordan Smith, 6-6, 220, Lithonia (Ga.)
LB David Reese, 6-1, 235, Farmington (Mich.)
CB McArthur Burnett, 5-10, 180, Pahokee (Fla.)
CB Chauncey Gardner, 5-11, 195, Cocoa (Fla.)
K Eddy Pineiro, ASA Miami (Fla.) junior college
All player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
— Jim McElwain (@CoachMcElwain) January 3, 2016
— Feleipe Franks (@18franks) January 11, 2016
With my guys ?✊?? pic.twitter.com/KTgxGiS00p
— Hu〽️ble Beast (@MarkT_RB5) January 3, 2016
— McArthur Burnett (@Pahokee_Beast) January 9, 2016
Officially A Florida Student Athlete ??
— Chauncey Gardner II. (@StillDat_) January 3, 2016
Gainesville is the place to be ?
— Drè Massey (@D1Masseyy) January 11, 2016
Loving this campus ??
— Eddy Pineiro (@eddypineiro1) January 8, 2016