Florida Gators football: Justin Shorter enters NFL Draft; Lorenzo Lingard, Daejon Reynolds into transfer portal

By OnlyGators.com Staff
December 1, 2022
Florida Gators football: Justin Shorter enters NFL Draft; Lorenzo Lingard, Daejon Reynolds into transfer portal

Image Credit: UAA

Substantial attrition has long been expected by Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier following the 2022 college football season, and with the campaign having wrapped up last Saturday, it is beginning to hit the program this week. Already in the last four days, three offensive playmakers have determined that they will no longer be with the team come 2023.

The most impactful of the departures is redshirt junior wide receiver Justin Shorter, who announced his plans enter the 2023 NFL Draft. Though Shorter has a year of eligibility remaining due to blanket COVID-19 waiver given to college athletes for the 2020 season, he has already played five collegiate seasons (two at Penn State, three at Florida).

Shorter, a former five-star prospect in the Class of 2018 who transferred from Penn State, started 21 of the last 22 games he played for the Gators and became one of sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson’s most reliable targets this season, hauling in 29 passes for 577 yards and two touchdowns. His production will certainly be missed, though his decision was not unexpected. Shorter will play in the 2022 East-West Shrine Game but not in UF’s bowl game.

“I have decided to sit out from the bowl game and begin my training for the 2023 NFL Draft,” Shorter said in an Instagram post. “I am excited for what the future holds and thank everyone for your continued prayers and support! Always a Gator.”

Redshirt junior running back Lorenzo Lingard and redshirt freshman WR Daejon Reynolds announced this week that they will enter the transfer portal. Linga

Lingard, a former five-star prospect from the Class of 2018 who transferred from Miami, played in 32 games across three seasons at UF but never became a primary ball carrier for the Gators. He mostly saw action on special teams in 2022 with 10 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. While talented, Lingard was ultimately recruited over with sophomore Montrell Johnson Jr. and freshman Trevor Etienne playing so well that it became nearly impossible to get him on the field.

“Thank you for everything UF,” tweeted Lingard, who has already graduated from Florida.

Reynolds, a four-star prospect from the Class of 2021, played sparingly this season despite the Gators’ lack of depth at the position. He saw the field late due to significant injuries to the receivers room. Still, Reynolds had a notable breakout performance with eight receptions for 165 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Vanderbilt back on Nov. 19.

As part of his announcement, Reynolds made sure to thank everyone in the Florida program. “Wherever my next destination is, they will honestly get not only one of the best players on the field, but an even better person off the field,” he wrote in a Twitter graphic.

With Shorter, Lingard and Reynolds choosing not to return, the Gators now have 12 players who have either declared for the draft, entered the transfer portal or been dismissed from the team. Florida expects significantly more attrition to come, which it will need to sign its recruiting class and add its own transfers out of the portal.

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