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Defensive lineman Jared Verse is the No. 1 player on The Athletic’s list of hottest names in the transfer portal, and Florida appears to have a shot at landing the Albany standout.

Verse racked up 75 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks and two forced fumbles this season at the FCS level, and now everyone wants him. Florida State, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and USC are among the 30 programs Florida is competing with for Verse. He originally planned on announcing a top five but has decided to go with the quiet route after thinking it over.

“I kind of realized a top five — not that it’s immature in any aspect, but as an older guy, I don’t really need to do that,” Verse said to 247Sports. “It’d be more respectful to the coaches. Plus, I’m not eliminating anyone, so when I do make my decision, call the coaches, let them know, ‘I do not plan on coming to your school. Thank you for reaching out to me.”

After being overlooked in 2019 during his initial recruitment, Verse is clearly taking his second chance seriously. He’s already made trips to FSU, Tennessee, Syracuse and Houston, but that was before some of the bigger offers came in.

Verse said that he’s already narrowed down his options to a few to pick from, but he’s not tipping much other than revealing that the Volunteers have done enough to earn serious consideration. The plan is to announce sometime in the next week, but it wouldn’t be odd for Verse to push back the announcement again.

Whichever team lands the FCS All-American will be adding one of the best defensive ends in the country, and that’s a position of need for many teams right now (including Florida). The Gators could use Verse up front next season as Zach Carter and Khris Bogle are both moving on from the program.


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