With the college football season less than a month away, the Florida Gators are in the middle of fall camp as they are preparing themselves for the 2021 season. The Florida Gators are coming off an 8-4 season but also won the SEC East and played in the SEC Championship Game.
One of the reasons Florida was so successful last season was because of their historic offense. The Florida offense was absolutely stacked last season with Kyle Pitts, Kyle Trask, Kadarius Toney, and others. Pitts won the John Mackey Award (Best TE in the country), Trask was a Heisman candidate and Toney was a first-round pick.
Florida’s offense lost a ton of quality players and will look towards the underclassmen to fill in some of the shoes that last year’s started filled. Some freshmen may be counted on to be contributors this season. Here are three freshmen to watch this season for the Florida Gators’ offense.
Florida Gators: Top Three Offensive Freshmen
RB Demarkcus Bowman
Florida didn’t sign a high school running back during the 2020 recruiting cycle however, they picked up one of the biggest names in the Transfer Portal. Former Clemson running back Demarkcus Bowman is now a Florida Gator and could get a lot of touches this season.
During the 2019 recruiting cycle, Bowman was a five-star running back that was wanted by every school in the country. He chose to play for the Clemson Tigers over Florida and other elite programs. Bowman wouldn’t last long at Clemson as he put his name in the portal after playing in two games.
It didn’t take long for Bowman to commit to the Gators once he put his name in the portal. He has been with the team since the spring. Bowman is only redshirt-freshman on this list but he could have a major impact. He’s a very explosive back that’s a true home run threat. Florida has a lot of quality running backs this season so Bowman will need to earn his carries against a crowded running back room.
TE Nick Elksnis
Replacing Kyle Pitts is going to be an impossible task. Yet there is a freshman tight end that could make that transition a little bit easier for Florida fans. True freshman Nick Elksnis has looked terrific since he enrolled early at Florida.
The 6’6” tight end out of Jacksonville was a three-star recruit committed to the Penn State Nittany Lions before flipping his commitment to Florida. Elksnis had plenty of quality offers but chose the Gators because of their tight-end Tim Brewster.
So far in fall camp, Elksnis has made some pretty impressive catches with Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson at quarterback. Elksnis won’t be the starting tight end this season at Florida with upperclassmen like Kemore Gamble and Keon Zipperer ahead of him on the depth chart. With that being said, Elksnis should still get some playing time this season. His size and speed make him a mismatch problem. And could make him into an offensive weapon.
Besides losing Pitts to the draft, Florida also lost two starting wide receivers in Kadarius Toney and Trevon Grimes. While it’ll be difficult to replace a quality talent like Toney and Grimes. Thankfully, Florida has recruited well at the wide receiver position and has the talent to replace those guys.
One receiver that is starting to turn some heads for the Gators in fall camp is true freshman wide receiver, Marcus Burke. The 6’3” 180-pound wide receiver was one of the top wide receivers in the country. He had offers from some of the top college football programs in the country.
Burke has great size and speed to make a deep threat as he showed during his high school career. The Jacksonville native has looked pretty good in camp lately. He might have opened up the opportunity for some early playing time. Florida has some talented wide receivers however Burke might be able to get some snaps this Fall if he continues to develop and impress during camp.