Florida adds transfer Elijah Blades, signee Tyreak Sapp to 2021 roster

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports
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Elijah Blades

The Florida football program welcomed two late additions to the roster Friday, with graduate transfer Elijah Blades and 2021 signee Tyreak Sapp reporting to campus for preseason training camp. 

Blades graduated from Texas A&M on Thursday and has officially enrolled at UF, while Sapp also joined the team after his high school transcript was approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse. 

TYREAK SAPP

The addition of the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Blades could help the Gators fill the void left by junior cornerback Jaydon Hill, a projected starter who tore his ACL last Sunday and will miss the season. 

Blades, a former Florida commit in high school, was ranked the No. 4 JUCO player in 2019. He made six starts that fall for the Aggies and missed four games due to injury, finishing the season with 19 tackles, 1.5 sacks and three pass breakups before opting out last year. 

Blades will compete with fellow transfer Jadarrius Perkins and cornerbacks Avery Helm, Ethan Pouncey and Jason Marshall Jr., a five-star freshman, for the starting job opposite Kaiir Elam. Blades could also potentially line up at the STAR position, where the Gators lost starter Brad Stewart.

The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Sapp, a top-100 overall recruit, was the third highest-rated signee in Florida’s 2021 class. He committed to UF at the end of his sophomore season and later landed offers from Alabama and Ohio State. 

Despite both schools trying to flip him, Sapp stayed loyal to the Gators. 

“With him, he's a guy that early on committed to us. I know early on, he talked about his dream, his love of being a Gator, always wanted to be a Gator and live out his dream,” Mullen said of Sapp after he signed early. “I know guys enjoy the recruiting process, and it's a great deal, it's a great experience. Obviously, (last) year was one of the most unique, certainly for the players. 

“A little bit different for the coaches, but I think certainly very, very different for the prospects. But it says a lot about him. I mean, obviously playing at a big-time high school program (St. Thomas Aquinas), having all the success he’s had, and now having the opportunity to go live his dream and come be a Florida Gator.”

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