Welcome to Gator Nation, RJ Moten! (Photo via Michigan athletics)
The Gators entered the month of May with 80 scholarship football players, leaving five open slots to fill between now and the start of the season.
They filled one of them today at a position of need- and with a legacy, at that.
Safety RJ Moten, a Michigan transfer, has committed to Florida. He becomes the second Michigan Wolverine defender to transfer to Florida this offseason, joining linebacker Deuce Spurlock back in the winter. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.
Originally from Delran, NJ, Moten is the son of a Gator. His father, Ron, played linebacker for the Gators in the Galen Hall days of the mid 1980’s. After his playing days in Gainesville, the elder Moten was eventually drafted by the Eagles, where he played five years.
RJ Moten initially committed to Michigan in the class of 2020, where he rarely saw the field as a freshman. Because that year did not count toward any player’s eligibility, though, he was able to again be labeled a freshman in 2021. Over his COVID freshman and sophomore years, RJ Moten carved out a solid role within the Wolverines’ defense, racking up 66 tackles in Michigan’s defensive backfield.
Moten, though, wanted an even bigger role, and with the Wolverines deciding to add more depth to its secondary, he decided to enter the transfer portal just over a week ago. After visiting Gainesville, he was sold; he was coming back to the place where his father once roamed the field.
The best word to describe RJ Moten is athletic. He’s got a strong baseball background and even drew some interest from MLB teams coming out of high school. On the football field, Moten has played running back, linebacker, and safety, though he quickly realized his future was at safety.
The linebacker-like physicality, though, comes in handy in the defensive backfield. Moten is fast and can deliver quite a blow when barreling full-force into a ball-carrier or receiver- the kind of hit that can tend to knock the ball out. He’s also a smart football player, which when paired with that speed makes him a strong zone coverage defender.
Because of all that, Moten figures to be a likely bet to start at safety right away. His experience, combined with the Gators’ lack of depth there, makes it all but a certainty that he’ll be in the lineup come week one against Utah.
With the addition of Moten, Florida now has eleven new additions to its 2023 recruiting class via the transfer portal, lifting them near the top 15 of the 247Sports Composite transfer rankings.