Florida's season doesn't begin until Sept. 26, but when it does kick off against Ole Miss new wide receiver Justin Shorter will be available. The Penn State transfer announced on his Instagram story that he received a waiver from the NCAA to grant him immediate eligibility for the 2020 season. Shorter entered the transfer portal in November of last year and announced he was transferring to the Gators in January.
Shorter was the former No. 1 wide receiver prospect in the country in 2018, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. However, he never made a splash with the Nittany Lions. In two seasons, Shorter caught just 15 passes for 157 yards and zero touchdowns. He was the team's fifth-leading wideout and made appearances in 10 games last year.
Still, this is good news for Gators coach Dan Mullen and an offense that replaced four wideouts: Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain, Tyrie Cleveland and Josh Hammond. Combined, they had 132 catches, 1,901 yards and 16 touchdowns and were four of Florida's top six receivers last year.
Heading towards opening week, Florida has established starters in Trevon Grimes, Kadarius Toney and Jacob Copeland, while tight end Kyle Pitts is the top returning weapon. The first team is a little too crowded for Shorter to make any starts -- at least right away -- but his addition adds important depth for Mullen's offense, which thrives on spreading the ball around to different weapons. Last year, eight different players caught at least 20 passes.