Florida WR invited to 2023 NFL combine despite undecided future

It’s currently unknown whether Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall will use up his final year of college eligibility before turning pro, but there’s no question that the NFL draft is calling him.

On Monday, Pearsall posted a screenshot of his invitation to the 2023 NFL combine on Instagram with the caption, “thank you Lord,” according to 247Sports. While that post does not serve a confirmation of his departure, Florida fans should consider a reality where Pearsall doesn’t return for a second year in the Swamp.

He joined the team in spring through the transfer portal after moving on from Arizona State and served as the Gators’ starting slot receiver all year. He finished the season with 33 receptions, 661 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 113 more yards and a score on the ground. If Pearsall did return, he’d be the unquestioned leader in Florida’s 2023 wide receivers room.

Reporters questioned Pearsall on Dec. 17 about his future after Florida’s Las Vegas Bowl loss to Oregon State, and he was noncommittal at the time.

“There’s a lot of aspects that go into it,” Pearsall said. “But, you know, I’m still thinking about it, being patient with it.”

Losing Pearsall to the pros would be another major loss for the Gators after Justin Shorter declared for the draft and Daejon Reynolds entered the transfer portal. It would leave Xzavier Henderson as the team’s lone returning starter with Caleb Douglas behind him, assuming his recovery goes as planned.

Florida’s bringing in a decent crop of freshmen receivers, but dipping into the transfer portal might be necessary if Pearsall leaves.

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