Two Mississippi State Players Added to Transfer Portal With Ties to Florida

Two Mississippi State players with ties to Dan Mullen have entered the transfer portal. Could Florida be interested?
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The NCAA transfer portal continues to fill up with talent. On Tuesday, it added two prospects with ties to the Florida Gators.

Offensive lineman James Jackson and kicker Jace Christmann of Mississippi State entered the portal after lengthy careers with the Bulldogs, per Joel Coleman of Cowbell Corner. Both Jackson and Christmann joined Mississippi State under the direction of now-Florida head coach Dan Mullen and his staff.

Jackson enrolled in the class of 2017 as a defensive tackle with experience on both sides of the ball in high school. Mullen would leave for Florida after Jackson's redshirted freshman season. After recording eight tackles defensively, Jackson moved to the offensive line this past season and started two games at center, playing in 10 total.

Christmann walked on with Mississippi State in 2016 and earned the starting job at kicker the next season, spending two years with Mullen and Co. He finished his career as the most accurate field goal kicker in program history, going 32-of-40 with a long of 51 yards. He's only missed one of his 128 career extra-point attempts.

Despite his success, Christmann was replaced in 2020 by Brandon Ruiz, an Arizona State transfer who joined the team after Mike Leach was named head coach last year.

Will either of these prospects headline the portal and emerge as must-adds? Probably not. However, Florida could afford to at least give Jackson and Christmann a call.

Florida lost one of its most accurate kickers in program history, Evan McPherson, to the NFL Draft last week. Florida has two kickers on its roster already and redshirt junior Chris Howard impressed in McPherson's place against Missouri this past season. However, the obvious ties and recent loss of McPherson makes Christmann a player to keep an eye on as Florida continues to scan the portal.

UF could use additional offensive line depth after losing left tackle Stone Forsythe and center Brett Heggie to the NFL Draft. Sophomore Ethan White was expected to start at center prior to a knee injury in fall camp, so Jackson likely wouldn't push for a starting role on the offensive line if UF were to offer him a spot. However, his experience on both sides of the ball is appealing as Florida's depth is thin in the trenches.