Gators land a commitment from this massive transferring lineman
The Gators landed a commitment from the transfer portal on Monday afternoon, securing the talents of offensive lineman Kam Waites. Though Waites was an unrated recruit and didn't play in any games during his freshman season last year, the Gators are already familiar with his play. He was a Louisiana recruit out of high school under Billy Napier and spent the 2021 season working with current Florida offensive line coach Darnell Stapleton.
Waites entered the transfer portal on Dec. 21, taking two weeks to consider his next destination before enrolling at Florida. He was lightly recruited out of high school and wasn't a hot commodity when he reopened his recruitment as a transfer, so the odds are good that the Gators were his hands-down best offer.
- Florida Gators Football (@GatorsFB) January 3, 2022
Waites cuts an imposing figure, standing at 6-foot-8-inches and weighing in at 372 pounds. Without a prospect pedigree or any playing time in his freshman year, it's safe to assume that he projects as a developmental player in the Gators system. He was recruited as a center and, assuming he continues in the role, there's not much opportunity for playing time anyway. Barring a major coup, the Gators' center position is locked down by Kingsley Eguakun.
On the other hand, Napier has been very cautious about who he's willing to extend and offer to and the fact that Waites made the cut speaks to Napier's faith in his character and work ethic. Furthermore, nothing can quite simulate the sheer mass of such a large person and Waites can serve that role in practice and on the scout team.
After redshirting his freshman year, Waites will have four years of eligibility remaining as he lands in The Swamp. Napier intends to hire a second offensive line coach in addition to Stapleton, so Waites will have plenty of opportunity to grow into his potential as a player in those years.
Because of his likely role as a depth player for the Gators, this doesn't take them out of the running for another impact transfer along the offensive line. Their play in the trenches was inconsistent and a little healthy competition would certainly serve the team well.