The Florida Gators have stayed busy recruiting the transfer portal even after it has officially closed on January 2nd, but they lost another starter along the offensive line.

The Gators are also continuing to make changes to their operations staff and have done so with more moves to come.

Gators Add DE George Gumbs, LB Grayson ‘Pup’ Howard, and Arkansas OL Devon Manuel via the Transfer Portal

The Gators received commitments from former Northern Illinois defensive end George Gumbs, former South Carolina linebacker Grayson ‘Pup’ Howard, and Arkansas offensive lineman Devon Manuel.

Former Northern Illinois defensive end George Gumbs (18) – Mark Kuhlmann/Northern Illinois Athletics

Starting with the new additions for the Gators, Gumbs stands 6-4, 242 and recorded 32 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 12 games for the Huskies in 2023.

Gumbs is a raw prospect, as his only season playing defensive end was in 2023, as Gumbs previously played TE for Northern Illinois, but he at least gives the Gators a developmental depth piece at defensive end. The Gators need depth along the edge positions, especially given that former Gators defensive end Princely Umanmielen is now at Ole Miss after transferring out.

Another player Florida added from the transfer portal is a very familiar face in Grayson ‘Pup’ Howard, who committed to the Gators after just one season with South Carolina.

Howard, a consensus four-star recruit, was recruited heavily by the Gators during the 2023 recruiting cycle, but Howard ultimately committed and subsequently signed with the Gamecocks.

Howard, who is from Jacksonville, Florida, stands 6-4, 231 pounds and gives the Gators another solid talent at linebacker to go with current starter Shemar James and four-star signees Myles Graham and Aaron Chiles.

Howard appeared in 11 games for the Gamecocks, recording 19 total tackles, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble.

The last player Florida has added in recent days is offensive lineman Devon Manuel from Arkansas. Manuel started nine games for the Razorbacks in 2023. Manuel, a former three-star recruit, signed with the Razorbacks ahead of the 2021 season and redshirted his first year and played in just one game in 2022.

Manuel will be a developmental prospect, but being that he stands 6-9, 300 pounds, he could be a force at offensive tackle for the Gators in the future.

Starting OL Richie Leonard IV Enters Transfer Portal as Graduate Transfer

Florida Gators OL Richie Leonard IV (67) – Maddie Washburn/Florida Gators Athletics

The Gators lost starting offensive lineman Richie Leonard IV on Friday, after he officially entered the transfer portal as a graduate transfer. Leonard started in all 12 games for the Gators in 2023 at left guard.

Leonard IV has been with the Gators since he signed on to play for former Gators head coach Dan Mullen ahead of the 2020 season. Leonard IV appeared in 31 total games for the Gators over that span, starting in 14 of them.

Leonard IV departing now means the Gators have lost three starters along their offensive line since the 2023 season ended, with starting center Kingsley Eguakun announcing his decision to enter the 2024 NFL Draft and starting right guard Micah Mazzccua announcing his decision to transfer.

Florida Gators add former Texas A&M Associate Athletic Director Mark Robinson

According to a report from 247Sports’ Matt Zenitz via his X account, the Gators are adding former Texas A&M associate athletic director Mark Robinson to their operations staff.

According to Zenitz, Robinson will be “helping with the personnel department, manage business operations for the Gators and also have general operations oversight.”

Zenitz added that the addition of Robinson will begin to shape an “NFL-style front office” which Robinson will be overseeing.

According to a report from 247Sports’ Jacob Rudner via his X account, Robinson is the first of several moves the Gators are currently in the process of making to their operations staff.

Robinson returned to College Station to be the associate athletic director for the Aggies back in January 2018 after initially serving as assistant director of football operations for the Aggies from 2003-07, coming over from Florida State with now former Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher, where he was the assistant athletics director for football from 2013-17.

Prior to his work with Fisher at Florida State, Robinson was the director of football operations for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 2008-12, so Robinson has a lot of SEC football management experience under his belt.

The Gators adding Robinson and soon-to-be more operations staff members signals positive changes being made to the upper management of Florida football and should pay dividends in the seasons to come.