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Name: Justin Shorter
Position: Wide Receiver
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Weight: 225 lbs
Hometown: Monmouth Junction, N.J.
High School: South Brunswick
Previous School: Penn State
Coming out of high school, Shorter was one of the top targets nationally in the class of 2018. A five-star receiver (the top in the class, per the 247Sports Composite) and top-10 overall recruit, Shorter originally signed with Penn State, where he saw limited action as a true freshman. He appeared in four games, but he made just three catches for 20 yards, taking a redshirt. His second season in 2019, he saw action in 10 games but was limited to 12 catches for 137 yards and no touchdowns.
He elected to transfer from the Nittany Lions after the season, and his waiver for immediate eligibility with UF, his new school was approved, likely due to allegations of hazing within the Penn State program (or because the NCAA has a penchant for approving the waivers of former top recruits).
Either way, Shorter joined an absolutely stacked Gators receiving corps that included Trevon Grimes, Kadarius Toney and Jacob Copeland, not to mention world-beating tight end Kyle Pitts. As a result, he struggled to see targets once again, but he did have the best season of his career.
He finished with 23 catches for 268 yards and three touchdowns (all career highs) in 2020. Though he wasn’t exactly the dominant receiver UF hoped he would be, considering his recruiting status, he showed off some nice ball skills. He’s a huge target, very similar to Grimes, and will likely occupy a similar role to the one Grimes had next season.
Shorter and Copeland are the only returning receivers with significant playing time in 2020. No returning wideout other than those two had more than 12 catches in 2020, and Shorter should finally see the opportunity as a top target he’s been waiting for.