Demarkcus Bowman enters transfer portal: Former five-star running back leaving Florida Gators

By Staff
June 24, 2022
Demarkcus Bowman enters transfer portal: Former five-star running back leaving Florida Gators

Image Credit: Alex de la Osa / UAA

Florida Gators running back Demarkcus Bowman entered the transfer portal on Friday, according to multiple reports. The forthcoming redshirt sophomore and former five-star prospect joined the program in 2021 after one season at Clemson.

Bowman, who took 14 carries for 81 yards across four games last season, was expected to see increased playing time this campaign. However, the level of that workload was uncertain coming out of spring practice.

After spending his first season with Florida behind Dameon Pierce, Malik Davis and Nay’Quan Wright, Bowman likely expected to be moved into a spot as one of the team’s top two ball carries given Pierce and Davis both graduated.

However, not only is Wright, a redshirt sophomore, in line for significant carries, the Gators added sophomore Montrell Johnson as a transfer from Louisiana. Johnson compiled 838 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on the ground last season for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Florida is also expected to tote the rock with redshirt junior Lorenzo Lingard, another former five-star prospect who joined the program from Miami two seasons ago and received rave reviews in the spring. There’s a chance Lingard emerges as the starter if he picks up in fall where he left off this spring.

Bowman displayed notable athleticism, shiftiness and explosiveness during practice and the spring game; however, he also fumbled the ball twice in that game. Though his sheer talent and game-breaking ability had Gators fans excited about his potential on the field, given the competition in the running back room, it’s unlikely he would have been a bell-cow back — at least at the start of the season.

Bowman previously utilized his one-time transfer exemption when he moved from Clemson to Florida. As such, he will be required to sit out a year in residence at his next destination. While his departure pulls a significant talent off of the roster, it comes at one of the few positions in which the Gators have some depth.

His move could create an opportunity for four-star freshman Trevor Etienne to receive some carries in his first season, and it also means head coach Billy Napier must pay even closer attention to recruiting elite running backs in the Class of 2023.

The Gators have been focused on recruiting four-star Treyaun Webb (Jacksonville, FL), a legacy, and four-star Cedric Baxter Jr. (Orlando, FL). However, after previously being considered the leader for both prospects, Florida now appears to be playing catch up.

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