Brian Olmo | Sports Director
FIU offensive lineman Lyndell Hudson Jr. will be taking his talents to the University of Florida after entering the transfer portal to play under Coach Billy Napier, per his agent Jaylon Pressley.
The Panthers veteran right tackle received offers from USF, UAB, Houston, Kent State, Norfolk, Old Dominion, Temple, Charlotte and Bethune Cookman before committing to the Gators.
Hudson, 6-7, 315 pounds, was a three-year starter for FIU, appearing in all five games in 2020 and all 12 games in 2021. He was ranked as the team’s best offensive lineman by ProFootballFocus in 2022 and earned a spot in PFF’s College Team of the Week in Week 5.
His efforts on the offensive line allowed former Panthers running back D’Vonte Price – who’s second all-time in rushing for FIU – to smash rushing records and lead Conference USA with 6.48 yards per carry in 2020.
When Hudson first heard about Florida’s offer, he knew right away that that’s where he wanted to be.
“Florida man, that’s SEC ball. That’s hard to beat,” said Hudson in an interview with PantherNOW. “Growing up, I was always a Florida Gators fan. So me getting the chance to play there, I can’t say no to that.”
Hudson expressed excitement at the opportunity to play under Coach Napier and offensive coordinator Rob Sale, who was the previous offensive line coach for the New York Giants.
“[That’s] once in a lifetime,” said Hudson.
The Gators’ offensive line is currently experiencing a rebuild as it lost four key starters in the off-season; two to the NFL Draft and two as transfers to USC. In 2022, the team allowed 16 sacks in 13 games.
The redshirt senior’s departure raises questions about who’ll replace his production at the right tackle position as Hudson isn’t the only FIU starter on the offensive line to leave this off-season. Redshirt junior Shamar Hobdy-Lee also entered the transfer portal in March.
Hudson, who’s been with the Panthers since 2019, is thankful for his time spent with the team and believes it shaped him into a better player.
“FIU has done a lot. They’ve truly helped me find myself,” said Hudson. “Me going through four different offensive line coaches, I’ve picked up a little thing from each one. That ultimately, I believe, shaped my game to what it is today.”
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