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Joey Slackman comes out on the field before the home game vs. Dartmouth. Credit: Ethan Young

Fresh off his selection as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, Penn football’s Joey Slackman is taking his talents to the SEC.

On Sunday, Slackman, a senior defensive lineman for the Quakers, announced via his Instagram that he will transfer to Florida for his final year of collegiate eligibility. Slackman has been stalwart on the Red and Blue's defensive front for the last three seasons, and last week, he was awarded the Bushnell Cup, an honor given to the top offensive and defensive players in the Ivy League. Now, he goes to Gainesville, where he hopes to make an immediate impact both on and off the field.

“They [Florida] 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 said in an interview with 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."

Slackman was one of the most coveted defensive players in the transfer portal, ranked as the No. 25 available player and No. 3 best defensive lineman by 247 Sports. This marks a complete turnaround for Slackman, who was not heavily recruited out of high school and initially came to Penn as a wrestler. Slackman has since found a home on the gridiron, and he hopes to stay there as long as he can, eventually making the jump from Florida to the NFL.

"Getting to the draft next year is a goal of mine — obviously winning comes first — and Florida is a place where I feel like I can get everything out of a place and give everything that I have to a place in a year,” Slackman told ESPN.

During his three seasons with the Red and Blue, Slackman recorded 11 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. He is the 10th player in Penn history to win the Bushnell Cup, and the first since 2015. Slackman is also the first football player to transfer from the Ivy League to the SEC since 2020.