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The Gators’ defense is taking on a whole new look in 2021. That doesn’t comes as a surprise after the unit badly underperformed its talent level and promptly sent a handful of players, including Marco Wilson and TJ Slaton, to the professional level. We’ve written about just how much the team’s secondary will improve in the capable hands of Kaiir Elam and Jason Marshall Jr. Florida is adding another cornerback to the program, landing a commitment from Missouri transfer Jadarrius Perkins.

Unranked as a high schooler and beginning his career at Mississippi Gulf Coast, he leveraged a successful junior college career into a busy recruitment period this offseason. He picked up scholarship offers from colleges ranging from Akron to Alabama. First showing serious interest in transferring to Oregon, he turned cold to their advances and decommitted in December.

The next step in his journey took him to Mizzou. Perkins went further than just committing to the Tigers, he went so far as to enroll at the school and participate in spring camp. Evidently going through another change of heart, he entered the portal on April 29th, and after getting no new offers, committed to Florida on Saturday.

The Gators’ new defensive back has a 6-foot-2-inch frame and weighs 185 pounds. His size and athletic traits give him versatility as a cornerback prospect.

“He can press receivers at the line with physicality, or back off and run with them step for step down the football field,” wrote 247Sports in early 2020. “Perkins shows he’s comfortable putting his hands on wide outs near the line of scrimmage and knocking them off their routes. He also recovers well down the field if he does happen to get beat by a step off the line.”

The Gators choice to bring in an experienced corner who can play outside or inside gives the team an excellent fallback option at either position. Particularly because cornerbacks often have a difficult time adjusting to a boost in competition, this pickup smells like insurance for freshman Marshall Jr.

There’s no guarantee that Perkins will wind up playing for the Gators until he takes snaps in-game at the Swamp. He has a long history of indecisiveness in picking a destination dating back to his high school days. For now, though, he’s some useful padding for the cornerbacks room.


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