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Florida Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Gators

Billy Napier, Florida Gators Football

If the Florida Gators' latest recruiting class is any indication, the Billy Napier era is in good hands.

In less than two months on the job, Napier was able to put together a top-20 recruiting class. Although it may take years for it to translate on the field, the Gators are off to a good start.

Related: 5 Priorities for New Florida Head Coach Billy Napier in 2022

Napier will look to help Florida rebound from a 6-7 season, including only two conference victories. That's one of the significant reasons the school dismissed previous head coach Dan Mullen despite making it to three consecutive New Year's Six bowl games.

Now the Gators will look to compete in the SEC and overtake the Georgia Bulldogs, who won the SEC East and the national championship. Here are some of the players who could impact next year's Florida team.

Kamari Wilson, S

It's always tricky for any freshman to come in and produce immediately. Wilson certainly has the opportunity to play in 2022 and possibly become a starter.

The jewel of Napier's first recruiting class at Florida, Wilson was the No. 3 safety in the 2022 class and a top-50 overall recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite. The 6-foot, 200-pound prospect from IMG Academy in Bradenton, picked at the Gators over offers from Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, and Florida State, among others.

Wilson has already enrolled and is training with the team leading up to spring practices. He profiles as more of a box safety but has the talent it play in coverage situations.

Shemar James, LB

James was ranked as the No. 5 linebacker and No. 67 overall prospect in the 2022 class, according to 247Sports. A Mobile, Alabama, product, he chose to sign with Florida over the Crimson Tide and Georgia. James didn't enroll early, but his size (6-2, 212) combined with a need at linebacker could help him see the field sooner rather than later.

Related: College Football's Top 20 Impact True Freshmen for 2022

Chris McClellan, DL

McClellan committed to Florida on Nov. 23 despite the school's lack of a head coach at the time. He also enrolled early as well and could see action in the Gators' upcoming spring game. A top-20 prospect at his position, McClellan was selected to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl. The Owasso, Oklahoma, product was 247Sports' No. 2 recruit in his state and signed with Florida over the Sooners, as well as Alabama, Ohio State and USC.

Devin Moore, S

Another 4-star prospect, Moore also was invited to the 2022 All-American Bowl. The Naples, Florida, product has appealing size (6-3, 190) and snagged five interceptions during his junior year of high school. Moore chose the Gators over a loaded offer list that included Alabama, Notre Dame, LSU, and Auburn. An early enrollee, Moore will get a head start on impressing his new coaching staff.

Jalen Kimber, CB

A transfer from Georgia, Kimber only played in four games across two seasons as a shoulder injury suffered in the 2021 opener sidelined him the rest of the way. But he could potentially see significantly more action for the Gators this fall. A borderline top-100 overall recruit in 2020, the Arlington, Texas, native should have every opportunity to seize a starting job, especially with last season's top cornerback, Kaiir Elam, preparing for the NFL draft.

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.