A ripple went through the Florida Gators football facilities and Gator Nation when the news broke. Clemson Tigers Freshman running back Demarkcus Bowman has entered the transfer portal. Matt Zentiz of al.com first broke the news.
*Gators defensive lineman Gervon Dexter reacts to the Demarkcus Bowman news
The Lakeland native was largely seen as a locked-in Gator commit until Dabo Swinney and the Tigers came knocking. The 5-star back committed to Clemson in May of 2019 but Gators Head Coach Dan Mullen and running back coach Greg Knox stayed on Bowman the entire time, up till the ink was dry on his Clemson letter of intent.
"The only reason I came to Clemson is so my mother's dad could watch me play," Bowman told TigerNet.
"He stayed in Atlanta but he passed away and that really hurt me. He was my closest family to me up there and I just didn't feel comfortable anymore. I just want to go to a school closer to home."
His grandfather on his father's side passed away a month later and Bowman officially wanted to be closer to home and family.
As he told TigerNet, he holds no ill will towards Clemson. This transfer comes only from a desire to play closer to Lakeland.
"Clemson is a very great program. They have very great coaches and academic and is literally the most perfect place. It was just not the fit for me though."
Florida is seen as the odds-on favorite to land the coveted running back who ran for 5,081 yards and 71 touchdowns during his high school career with the Dreadnaughts. Those in the program feel optimistic about the likelihood given Bowman's history with the program, proximity to home and Dan Mullen's past success with the transfer portal.
If Bowman does choose Florida, then Mullen and Knox will have brought in two transfer running backs that are former five stars; Bowman and Miami Hurricanes transfer Lorenzo Lingard. On Thursday Bowman retweeted a Florida fan who pointed out he'd have full eligibility due to the NCAA waiving the year due to COVID-19.