Florida Acquires Penn DT Assignment Joey Slackman

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Ivy League football standout Joey Slackman transfers to Florida - ESPN

Transferring defensive tackle for Penn Joey Slackman, who officially arrived in Gainesville two days ago, has committed to the Florida Gators.

Over the last two weeks, Florida’s absence of a defensive line coach has not been a problem since the Gators have recruited many commits to the front line following Sean Spencer’s release on November 27.

The third was highly anticipated Penn transfer Joey Slackman, who committed to the University of Florida on Sunday, one week after spending an official week in Gainesville from December 8–10.

Slackman declared, “The Gators’ brand is unlike a lot of other places,” and he was promptly taken out of his official tour on Sunday. “The coaches did a really good job of explaining the plan that they have moving forward to turn this thing around and where they see me fitting in their defense and being a part of this thing.”

Out of his unofficial top five schools, he selected Florida over Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina. Slackman becomes the third defensive line talent to commit to Florida in December, following high school nose tackle Michai Boireau and JUCO edge rusher Brien Taylor Jr.

Slackman started all three years for the Quakers and finished with 115 tackles, 25 TFLs, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles, three pass breakups, eight quarterback hits, and one blocked punt.

The Ivy League standout received a lot of attention for his extremely prolific output and disruptiveness as a versatile defensive lineman before he decided to take his talents to the open market in an attempt to climb the standings this offseason.

Thus, a plethora of formidable Power Five college football programs, including but not limited to Arizona, Colorado, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Houston, Illinois, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Oregon State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, TCU, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, and Wisconsin, expressed great interest in the 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive lineman.

So, after an initial trip to Wisconsin, the Gators got in early contact with the gifted trenchman to entice him to campus for an official stay. Florida’s pitch was a major factor in finally closing the deal with the highly sought-after high-upside prospect during that trip.

Slackman’s first focus upon arriving on school will be the rehabilitation of a bicep injury sustained during the 2023 season.

“I had surgery on my bicep,” he said. “In our second-to-last game, I tore it. Three weeks ago, I underwent surgery.”

He wore a sling on his official visit weekend, so the Gators knew about the injury. However, after discussing the injury and his expected return date, they felt comfortable accepting the Slackman.

According to the native of Commack, New York, he “should be cleared for spring ball.”

Slackman is one of three defensive line prospects who are expected to join the Gators in 2024, along with LJ McCray, Amaris Williams, and Boireau.

Alongside Cam’Ron Jackson, who just confirmed that he will return to Florida for his senior year, Slackman will play a high-volume role in the team’s interior defensive line rotation. Caleb Banks, Desmond Watson, and Jamari Lyons are also anticipated to contribute up front in the upcoming season.

Gavin Hill, a rising sophomore and former Buchholz defensive lineman, will give depth to the lineup.

Even if the graduate transfer is aligned with the Gators, UF is still using the transfer portal to get more defensive line parts.

Florida will probably consider other potential portal players for the position, given there are three positions available after rising junior Chris McClellan left this offseason.

Now, Slackman covers one of those gaps.

On Sunday, he joins former San Diego State offensive tackle Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson as the Gators’ second transfer addition.

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