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Justin Shorter Florida
AP Photo/Steve Luciano

The Florida Gators aren’t known for churning out elite wide receivers. Outside of Antonio Callaway and Demarcus Robinson in recent years, the best wideout to star in Gainesville was Percy Harvin, who was once the No. 1 wide receiver in his recruiting class before helping UF win two national titles and excelling in the NFL.

Gator nation, meet wide receiver Justin Shorter.

The former five-star recruit was once the No. 1 wide receiver and eighth-best prospect overall in the class of 2018 before joining the Penn State Nittany Lions. He officially signed with Florida during National Signing Day in early February 2020.

WR Justin Shorter Signs with Florida

Shorter is the highest-rated wide receiver prospect since Harvin, according to 247Sports ratings.

Standing 6-foot-4 and 226 pounds, the former Penn State player will give UF quarterback Kyle Trask an easy target to throw to. He and incoming four-star wide receiver Xzavier Henderson should help shore up a receiving corps that lost seniors Tyrie Cleveland, Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain and Josh Hammond.

Shorter saw limited action at Penn State. The New Jersey native caught just three passes for 20 yards in 2018 and 12 receptions for 137 yards and zero touchdowns in 2019 before entering the NCAA transfer portal in November.

Shorter dominated high school defensive backs at South Brunswick High School, where he showcased a blend of speed, strength and height college football coaches dream of. He caught 112 passes for 1,822 yards and 21 touchdowns in three years there.

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Florida head coach Dan Mullen jumped at the chance to add Shorter’s frame and talent. Mullen has been busy on the transfer scene, adding former Texas Longhorns wide receiver Jordan Pouncey and former Miami Hurricanes five-star running back Lorenzo Lingard. Mullen also landed his first five-star recruit this past cycle in defensive tackle Gervon Dexter.

Following back-to-back top-10 finishes and wins in New Year’s Six bowl games, Mullen has surrounded Trask with the talent needed to take the next step in 2020.

The Gators held the nation’s No. 9 recruiting class behind SEC teams like Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn.

Justin Shorter Granted Immediate Eligibility 

It took a few months, but it’s finally official: Florida Gators wide receiver Justin Shorter has been granted immediate eligibility and can play in 2020. The five-star transfer announced the NCAA’s decision on Instagram.

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“Finally Got the waiver… go time,” he wrote on social media.

This is huge news for Dan Mullen’s Gators, and he will be ready to catch touchdowns all season long.

This post was originally published on February 5, 2020 before updating.

MORE: This 5-Star DE is Florida’s Next, Dominant Defensive Lineman

Patrick has spent parts of the last four years covering University of Florida athletics and spent two seasons with Major League Baseball. He's a baseball junkie who spends his days defending Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. A recent Gator grad, Patrick currently resides in Gainesville, Florida.
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