Key Florida starter to return for a 5th year in 2022

·2 min read

Florida’s secondary will have one fewer question mark heading into 2022, as senior safety Trey Dean III announced on Wednesday that he will be returning to Gainesville for the fifth season afforded to him as a result of the COVID pandemic rather than entering the NFL draft.

Dean has appeared in 50 games over the course of his UF career, starting 27 of them. He has 174 tackles (nine for loss), four sacks and four interceptions over the last four seasons, and he gives new coach Billy Napier a veteran option at safety next season. He posted his decision in a video on his Twitter account.

A native of Hampton, Georgia, Dean was a four-star recruit in the 2018 recruiting class. He began his college career as a reserve option and special teams player, but an injury to Marco Wilson early in the season thrust him into a starting role in nine of the final 10 games as a true freshman.

He saw his role diminish over the next two seasons, however. He appeared in every game as a sophomore but started just six of them, and he was moved to safety in 2020, where he made just one start. However, after the departures of Donovan Stiner and Shawn Davis, Dean started 11 of 12 games as a senior in 2022.

Dean wasn’t considered a top draft prospect, and he will look to boost his stock in his fifth and final season under the new regime.

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