Florida added one of the top defensive players in the transfer portal Sunday, with Penn defensive tackle Joey Slackman announcing his intention to play for the Gators.

Slackman was the 2023 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year after posting 50 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. He has one year of eligibility remaining and felt as though Florida was the right fit for his final season.

"They did the best job of building that relationship with me and explaining to me how I would fit into their defense and how I can help them not just win on the field with my football play, but as a leader," Slackman told ESPN. "I can come in, even though it's only a year, and really help change the program for the better and set them in the right direction over this next year."

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Slackman said he believes in what coach Billy Napier is trying to do and that he will have an opportunity to play on college football's biggest stage. The Florida staff has been looking for help on the defensive side, and Slackman has the ability to come in and be disruptive right away.

"When I called Coach Napier to let them know that I committed, that was something that he reiterated, what he told us when we were there on the visit," Slackman said. "He just said, 'Look, we need guys that can come in and lead, not just play.' They went through a very diligent process in the portal with recruiting and expressed to me that I was the guy that, aside from the play on the field, had leadership qualities that were intangible, and I agreed with that."

He has had success the past few years at Penn, but Slackman is ready for the challenge of the SEC. He said playing for Florida will help him accomplish his goal of making it to the NFL.

"It was the place where I felt like every aspect of myself as a player and a person could be developed," Slackman said. "Getting to the draft next year is a goal of mine -- obviously winning comes first -- and Florida is a place where I feel like can get everything out of a place and give everything that I have to a place in a year.

"I feel like they're going to help me get to where I want to be, and I'm going to help them and us get to the promised land, where we want to be, and I can't tell you how excited I am to get started with them."