Kevin O’Sullivan and the Florida Gators have landed one of the top catchers from the Transfer Portal. Coastal Carolina catcher Bradley “BT” Riopelle announced his commitment to the University of Florida. Riopelle is the first transfer Florida has landed in the portal since the addition of left-handed pitcher Trey Van Der Weide before the 2020 season.
“Everything about the University of Florida is very reputable,” Riopelle told GatorsTerritory. “You don’t have to sell me on the University of Florida with their athletics and academics.”
During his time at Coastal Carolina, Riopelle played three seasons for the Chanticleers. In the 2021 season, Riopelle slashed .270/.354/.459 with 50 hits, eleven doubles, eight home runs, 27 RBIs and a .814 OPS.
Immediately after the 2021 season, Riopelle decided it was time to leave Coastal Carolina and entered the transfer portal. “I decided to enter the portal right after our season had ended,” Riopelle said. “My experience at CCU was awesome as I was surrounded by great people that made my time there very special.”
Once Riopelle entered the transfer portal, he started getting interest from junior colleges but Florida was the first Division I program to contact him.
“Many JUCOs reached out but Florida was the first Division 1 program to call,” said Riopelle. “After Florida called, I started getting contacted by couple other D1 programs such as UCF and Houston to name a few.”
Florida’s assistant coach Craig Bell contacted the Coastal Carolina catcher as he saw Riopelle has a nice fit for Florida’s baseball program.
“He [Craig Bell] saw me in the portal and asked why I left Coastal Carolina,” Riopelle told GT. “Coach Bell then asked about my interest in Florida and also mentioned an older catcher like myself would be a great fit for Florida.”
After some conversations, Riopelle was offered and then committed to the Florida Gators. “It took about 5 days, maybe a week before I decided to commit to the Gators,” said Riopelle.
The two-year starter still has two years of eligibility with the Gators as his 2020 season didn’t count towards his eligibility due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bradley “BT” Riopelle is a 6’0” 205-pound catcher from Marietta, Georgia. He’s a very sound defensive catcher with plus arm strength. During last season, Riopelle had 302 putouts, 35 assists, and seven errors giving him a .980 fielding percentage. He also threw out 18 base stealers on 36 attempts which ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference.
At the plate, Riopelle is a left-handed hitting catcher that consistently produced for the Chanticleers offense. He was fourth on the club in hits, tied for second in home runs, and also stole eight bases in ten attempts. He was also selected to the All-Sun Belt Second Team.
With three college seasons under his belt, Riopelle is draft-eligible and has received some interest from MLB teams. “It’s pretty normal,” Riopelle said about the drat process. “I’m getting some contact, but I am excited to be in Gainesville in the fall and get to work!”