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Elijhah Badger commits to Florida: Gators add to No. 5 transfer class with top available WR

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USATSI

Florida landed a commitment from Arizona State transfer wide receiver Elijhah Badger on Friday, marking another win in the portal for Billy Napier. Badger ranked as 247Sports’ top uncommitted offensive player and was the No. 184 overall transfer player available this cycle.

Badger recorded 135 catches for 1,579 yards and 10 touchdowns in the last two seasons for the Sun Devils while leading his team in receptions (65), receiving yards (713), and touchdown receptions (three). He was teammates at Arizona State with San Francisco 49ers first-round pick Ricky Pearsall, who starred in Tempe before spending his final two seasons with the Gators in the SEC.

“He (Pearsall) reached out to me the day after he got drafted when I was in the portal,” Badger told 247Sports. “He heard Florida was in contact.”

Badger posted career-highs in receptions (70), receiving yards (866), and receiving touchdowns (seven) during the 2022 campaign. He offers a big-play threat next to Florida star receiver Eugene Wilson, who recorded 61 catches for 538 yards and six touchdowns in his freshman campaign.

Another big add to Florida’s transfer portal class

After finishing last season with a 5-7 mark, the pressure is on Napier to lead the Gators back to a bowl game. The Florida coach has leaned heavily on the portal in an attempt to upgrade his roster ahead of a brutal 2024 slate. Former Colorado cornerback Cormani McClain and USC offensive lineman Jason Zandamela — the two-highest-ranked players from Florida’s transfer portal class — committed earlier this month. McClain ranked as the No. 14 overall player in the 2023 recruiting cycle, while Zandamela was the top-ranked interior offensive lineman in the 2024 class. 

Badger should offer Florida quarterback Graham Mertz a reliable target to help stretch the field. Florida’s deep-ball-attempt rate dropped from 19.6% in 2022 to 10.9% this past season.

“[Mertz] was just telling me how big of a part I would be to the offense, and what we could do for one another,” Badger said.

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