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Gators land Arizona State WR Elijhah Badger, a top-100 transfer

On3 imageby:Zach Abolverdi05/17/24


Billy Gonzales | 2024 Florida Gators Spring Camp

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For the second time in three years, Florida has landed a wide receiver transfer from Arizona State in the spring portal window. After the 2022 of signing Ricky Pearsall, a first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the Gators received a commitment Friday from his former teammate, Elijhah Badger.

Badger took an official visit to Gainesville this week and also made trips to Washington and Arizona. He committed to Florida over the Wildcats despite his connection with Arizona wide receivers coach Bobby Wade, who was Badger’s position coach at Arizona State in 2021 and 2022.

Badger the No. 12 WR and No. 79 overall transfer in the On3 Industry rankings and becomes the fourth top-100 transfer in UF’s 2024 class, along with cornerback Cormani McClain (22nd overall) offensive lineman Jason Zandamela (28th) and defensive lineman Joey Slackman (39th).

Badger was very productive with the Sun Devils the past two seasons, making 135 catches for 1,579 yards and 10 touchdowns. He hauled in 65 passes for 713 yards and three touchdowns last year after 70 receptions for 866 yards and 7 TDs in 2022.

Badger has four career 100-yard receiving games, including two against Colorado. He had a career-high 12 catches for 134 yards vs. the Buffaloes last season after 137 yards in 2023.

Badger heard from 20 schools after entering the portal, most notably Michigan, Auburn, Florida State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Southern Cal, according to On3’s Hayes Fawcett.

Elijhah Badger is explosive and elusive

Last season the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Badger hauled in 24 explosive catches (15-plus yards), ranking him 23rd among all receivers in the country and third in the Pac-12 Conference. 

He was responsible for 41 of Arizona State’s 145 passing first downs in 2022 (28.3 percent) and forced 25 missed tackles that year, which ranked second amongst all receivers in the nation.

Badger has history with Pearsall at ASU. The two were teammates in 2020 and 2021 before Pearsall transferred to UF and became a first-round pick, which should help UF’s cause.

With the loss of Pearsall, the team’s top receiver the last two years, the Gators were looking to bolster their WR room and Badger gives them another weapon and a proven player.

He’ll compete with redshirt junior Kahleil Jackson for a starting job. Sophomore Eugene Wilson III will be WR1 and senior Chimere Dike, a Wisconsin transfer, should start in the slot.

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