According to a report from Zach Goodall of Sports Illustrated, Florida running back Demarkcus Bowman is entering the transfer portal.
If the report is correct- and Goodall is about as reliable as it gets- the Gators just lost a tremendously talented running back, albeit from a loaded running back room.
Bowman’s story is a long and winding one. Initially a five star prospect out of Lakeland, Bowman was considered to be a Florida lean for the class of 2020. But Dabo Swinney took him away, and it appeared as though he would play collegiately for the Clemson Tigers. That is, until he decided to transfer midway through the 2020 season- and when he chose to transfer to Florida, Gator fans rejoiced. At long last, after years of struggling to recruit at the position, Florida had signed its five star running back.
But Bowman seldom played in 2021, garnering just 81 yards on 14 carries, and even with the departures of Malik Davis and Dameon Pierce following the 2021 season, the Gators’ running back room remains loaded in 2022. With Nay’Quan Wright set to return and Lorenzo Lingard also gearing up for a larger role, Bowman was always going to have competition for carries to begin with. Then throw in the arrival of transfer Montrell Johnson, who came with Billy Napier from Louisiana, as well as incoming freshman Trevor Etienne, and that running back room remained just as crowded in 2022 as it was in 2021.
It’s never fun to lose a five star prospect to the transfer portal. It’s doubly not fun to lose a five star prospect to the transfer portal after your coach- a notoriously weak recruiter- pulled him in out of the transfer portal to begin with. And it’s made all the more upsetting by the fact that Bowman hails from Lakeland, which historically has been a Gator stronghold and now might lose that status as a result of potential souring of relationships that might result from this.
But the bottom line is that Bowman had a long road ahead of him for playing time, notated by his second-string status on his own spring game team. He likely wasn’t happy wth that status, and wanted to go to a school where he could be a big fish in a small pond and therefore guaranteed playing time. And Florida, with Wright, Lingard, and Johnson- simply isn’t able to provide him with that.
Best of luck to Demarkcus as he pursues his dreams elsewhere.