Gators add another five-star transfer as WR Justin Shorter commits to Florida out of Penn State

Florida picked up a big addition for its offensive future over the weekend, landing a transfer commitment from former Penn State wide receiver Justin Shorter

Shorter was a five-star prospect coming out of high school in New Jersey and the No. 1 wide receiver in the 2018 recruiting class. He committed to James Franklin and the Nittany Lions early in his recruitment, but through two years, has not become a major factor in the offense. At the time Shorter put his name in the transfer portal in November 2019, he was the team’s fifth-leading receiver after seeing action in just 10 of 11 games. 

A 6-foot-4 wideout with elite speed, Shorter fits the bill as a game-breaker in Dan Mullen’s offense, which spreads the ball around to a handful of skill position players. Florida’s coaching staff got Shorter on campus this weekend, and before its conclusion, he was making his commitment official on Twitter. 

Shorter’s exit from Penn State comes after Franklin’s staff has seen plenty of turnover in recent years with Joe Moorhead and Ricky Rahne leaving for head coaching opportunities. A fresh start to his college football career could be good for Shorter, who has yet to meet those five-star expectations at the college level. It’s unknown whether Shorter will pursue an NCAA waiver for immediate eligibility or take 2020 as a redshirt season due to transfer rules. He has already utilized his medical redshirt and enters next year as a rising redshirt sophomore.

Florida’s offense is losing wideouts Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland, Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain this offseason to graduation. Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney elected to return for another year, tight end Kyle Pitts is back after a breakout season in 2019, and highly-rated receiver Jacob Copeland will have increased opportunity. Whenever Shorter is eligible, there should be no shortage of playing time available.

Shorter is the second five-star prospect to transfer in to Florida this offseason as the Gators also added 2018 running back Lorenzo Lingard, who joined the program earlier this month from Miami.

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