July 15, 2024

New Florida football defensive tackle Joey Slackman is arguably the best in the SEC—sort of. The transfer from Penn holds the title of the highest-graded returning tackle in the SEC according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). It seems like every day PFF releases a list of top players or units for 2024, and Florida Football frequently appears. This reinforces our site’s view that the Gators’ 2024 roster is better than many realize.

The latest Gator to make a PFF list is Joey Slackman, one of the key offseason transfers, who is considered the top-returning player at his position in the SEC for 2024. However, there are a few important caveats.

PFF ranked Slackman as the top returning defensive tackle in the SEC for 2024, which was surprising. Although it’s impressive to see the Penn transfer at the top, it’s crucial to note a few factors that may have influenced this ranking.

Firstly, it’s unclear how Slackman achieved a season grade of 90.5. While he received grades of 90 or above in two games during the 2023 season, he didn’t surpass 80 in any other game. Additionally, those high grades came against Georgetown and Bucknell, neither of which had a winning season at the FCS level in 2023.

Joey Slackman - Football - University of Pennsylvania Athletics

Moreover, Slackman might not even be the best defensive tackle for Florida. Cam Jackson and Caleb Banks are expected to have strong seasons, and Slackman was limited during the spring, playing on the second unit during the spring game.

Nevertheless, Slackman’s performance in 2024 could be pivotal for the Gators. Ranked as a top 40 overall transfer portal prospect by On3, if Billy Napier and his staff can get the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year to excel in the SEC, the Gators might have a formidable rotation in the middle of their defensive line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *