Gators Potential Pursuit of Transfer RB Demarkcus Bowman Is Obvious
A few eyebrows might have risen in Gainesville today after a report surfaced indicating that Clemson running back and former Lakeland, Fla. product Demarkcus Bowman opted to enter the transfer portal.
According to 247Sports' Chris Hummer, Clemson has already canceled Bowman's financial aid, meaning he will not be able to return to the school even if he wanted to after exploring his options in the transfer portal.
Bowman, a 2020 recruiting prospect, was ranked as the consensus No. 3 running back in the country. A highly-recruited player, the Florida Gators have been on his trail for quite some time prior to his commitment to Clemson in May of 2019 and had been seeking a running back for the 2020 class before ultimately opting to move on after both Bowman and now-TCU running back Zach Evans both fell through.
Due to Clemson's long-standing rule regarding committed players remaining committed, not taking other visits, Bowman was essentially locked in with the Carolina school throughout the remainder of the recruiting cycle.
"The premise is simple: If a recruit is truly committed, he doesn’t have a need to take other visits," The Athletic's Grace Raynor wrote in an article on Clemson head coach Dabo Sweeny's recruiting rules. "In return, Clemson will not recruit others to take his spot."
While the Gators weren't in the running anymore for the soon-to-be transfer running back, the team still kept tabs on the prospect due to their affinity for his talents and his connection to other Lakeland recruits that made up the '19 class. Players such as tight end Keon Zipperer, defensive end Lloyd Summerall and offensive lineman Deyavie Hammond, now a part of the '21 recruiting class, were all a big part of the equation.
Current Gators freshman defensive lineman Gervon Dexter has also perked his ears up and opened his eyes to the idea of landing the elite running back.
And of course, Lakeland has a history of sending talent to UF. Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, Chris Rainey, Ahmad Black, and other Dreadnaught alumni had memorable careers as Gators.
The fit simply makes sense. Not just from a location perspective, Lakeland is about 84 miles away from Gainesville by car, but from a football perspective too.
Currently, Florida looks to be heading into a situation in which they will not be landing a running-back recruit in two consecutive cycles ('20 and '21), while there is still time for Florida to pursue one, according to 2022 recruit Damari Alston, who spoke with Sports Illustrated - AllGators in June, he was told by running backs coach Greg Knox Florida could opt to bring in two for '22 if they didn't land one late this cycle.
The Gators haven't been shy about adding players through the transfer portal, in fact, they've been one of the teams that have utilized it the most since its inception only a few short years ago. During this year's recruiting cycle, Florida brought in seven transfer players and has been the fourth-most active team in the transfer portal tied with Vanderbilt
Bowman would bring a lot to the table for the Gators. He is an incredibly talented running back, rushing for 5,172 yards in his prep career, adding a staggering 71 total touchdowns in three years, he's a complete player.
Florida's pursuit of Bowman should be obvious and simple and don't be surprised if news comes out in the coming days that that's in fact the place he opts to go to. If the Gators were to land the former five-star prospect, all issues associated with the team's recruitment of running backs over the past couple of years will vanish in an instant.
If Bowman were to transfer to Florida, he could have to sit a year to go through the waiver process, however, getting him onto the field next year would be a slam dunk.