O’Cyrus Torrence was considered one of the biggest names in the transfer portal this offseason- both literally and figuratively. And the Gators just beat out rival LSU for his services.
Torrence was a three star prospect out of high school in the Class of 2019 with a stray offer from Georgia and a slew of Group of Five teams. He chose to play for Billy Napier at Louisiana and quickly became a lynchpin of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ offensive line.
After taking a few lumps while starting for the Ragin’ Cajuns as a freshman, Torrence returned in 2020 to earn second team All-Sun Belt honors as Louisiana shared the honor of being conference champs with Appalachian State. But it was the following season, in 2021, when Torrence really started to turn some heads.
This time, he earned first team All-Sun Belt honors as Pro Football Focus graded him out as a first team All-American. Perhaps most impressively, Torrence anchored the offensive line that would eventually become a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award, which is given annually to the best offensive line unit in the country.
But then Billy Napier left, and O’Cyrus Torrence decided to leave with him. And though many had him pegged for Florida from the get-go, Torrence drew the attention of several other big time schools through the transfer portal, such as Auburn, Clemson, USC, and perhaps most notably of all, LSU. New LSU head coach Brian Kelly was rumored to have seriously gotten his attention over the last couple of weeks, which created some drama- and as far as fans could see, a serious recruiting battle.
Then Torrence visited Florida this past weekend, and decided that for the second time, he would rather play for Billy Napier.
Torrence isn’t alone in thinking that.
He becomes the second former Ragin’ Cajun offensive lineman to reunite with Napier at Florida. He joins Kamryn Waites in that department, who played his freshman season at UL before leaving along with Napier. The pair are also reuniting with offensive line coach Darnell Stapleton, as he also made the move from Louisana to Florida.
Then there’s running back Montrell Johnson, the 2021 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, which makes three members of Louisiana’s 2021 Sun Belt Championship team to come to Florida. And then there’s Georgia cornerback Jalen Kimber, who would have been a starter for the Bulldogs on their 2021 national championship if not for injury.
Billy Napier has to know that he signed up for a multi-year rebuild in taking this job at Florida. But just as certainly, Napier seems determined to eliminate any excuses for not being competitive in 2022, and trying his damndest to uphold that Gator Standard in what’s supposed to be a rebuilding year.