Daily Football Fix: Florida was the choice, transfers say

Florida Gators receiver Van Jefferson (87) runs with the ball after making a catch during the first Spring Practice with new head coach Dan Mullen, at the Sanders Practice Fields on the UF campus in Gainesville Friday March 16, 2018. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

While we wait for the appeals process to play out for transfer wide receivers Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson, this seems like a good time to look at why both decided to become Gators in the first place.

Grimes, the former Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas standout, already had a connection to UF. During the recruiting process, he visited Florida several times and nearly chose the Gators before deciding on Ohio State.

He decided to leave Ohio State after his true freshman season to be closer to a family member who is dealing with a health issue. He considered three options — UF, FSU and Miami, which is the closest to his home. What gave UF the edge is his familiarity with the program.

“I wanted to get somewhere closer to home and I knew it had to be in Florida,” Grimes said. “I looked at Miami. I looked at Florida State. But I felt that Florida would give me the best opportunity. With the new coaching staff coming in, I would be starting fresh just like all the other players.

“When I was in high school, Florida was in my top three. So, I already had a good idea of what Florida was like. They came down to be my top two. At the end of the day, I chose Ohio State, but just to be able to come back here, I kind of already knew what the program was like with the new coaching staff coming in. I talked to a couple of the players and they said they loved everything about it.”

Jefferson’s situation was a little different. He did not have much familiarity with the UF program, having played his high school ball in Tennessee. But he did have an idea what kind of coaches Dan Mullen and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales are, having played against Mississippi State twice when he was at Ole Miss.

“I had a lot of schools that hit me up when I came out (from Ole Miss),” Jefferson said. “I took a visit to Michigan. I took a visit to Louisville. But when I came down here it was just different.

“Michigan is a great school too, but there was just something about Florida. Coach Gonzales and Coach Mullen when I came here really interested me. I just took the visit and felt like it was the place for me.”

Jefferson said he’s seen first-hand how effective Mullen’s offense can be and how he utilizes the wide receivers.

“I just believe in what Coach Mullen and Coach Gonzales are doing,” he said. “When I announced I was leaving Ole Miss and was considering schools, Florida called and I was interested. I came down here and visited and decided to come here.

“When (Mullen) was (at MSU) he had a lot of receivers that caught a lot of balls. Fred Ross and those guys. Seen that and playing against that, you see that a lot. When I was at Ole Miss I saw some of the things he was doing. I was kind of familiar with it. At Ole Miss we run the spread offense, we don’t run a pro. From what I saw, I liked it.”

Jefferson and Grimes had a major impact in the passing game in the spring, and both said they’re very happy at Florida.

They’ll be a lot happier, of course, if they receive a favorable ruling from the NCAA that would allow them to become immediately eligible. Once UF petitions the NCAA (which will happen soon), it won’t take long for a decision to be announced.



  1. If Van is anything like his father (and he sure runs and catches the ball like him), the Gator QBs have someone special to play toss the pigskin with this fall. And Grimes is just looks the part of a potentially dynamic receiver. He is just physically gifted. But, then again, so is Franks.

  2. And speaking of being physically gifted….the kid I really liked at the open practices this spring was the other player in the photo for this article. Burney, I believe, is going to be a very special player on the defensive side of the ball.

    • Yup. A Georgia grad that saw a miracle.

      Looks like Mullen knows the transfer game well… don’t use it for anything but sure fire winners. If you add these 2 that recruiting class starts looking better than the one poster who is panicked about the numbers of stars thinks. I agree recruiting matters but you can’t just be conventional in your thinking all of the time.

      • “…sure fire winners…” What are you talking about? Jefferon was benched at Ole Miss after the thrd game last year. So someone that couldn’t start at Ole Miss is a “sure fire winner”? Grimes has done nothing on a college field. Same question. Did either one do anything in the public scrimmage, the Spring game?
        They are both typical transfers…guys that couldn’t start at their previous school. Only a delusional Gator fan would call them “sure fire winners.”i

  3. ”The NCAA tweaked its waiver process last month to allow players who are in good standing at their previous school to be immediately eligible at their new school if the original school does not oppose the transfer.
    Jefferson’s appeal is taking longer because it is more complicated than those of his former Ole Miss teammates. Jefferson has transferred within the SEC, which rarely happens, so league commissioner Greg Sankey is going to be involved in the appeals process in Jefferson’s case.” -Robbie Andreu article on May 11, ’18.
    So which is it, Gatorsports.com? I’m so happy that both of these great receivers chose U.F.
    And it would be criminal for the NCAA to rule Jefferson ”ineligible” because he chose ”another S.E.C. school.” As it would send an AWFUL MESSAGE to future ”S.E.C. transfering football players” from going to another ”S.E.C. school”.
    Lastly, I cannot understand what is taking so long for U.F.’s ”paper work process” to finish.
    All of the OTHER ”transfers” (from Ole Miss) have already been ruled ”eligible” by the NCAA.
    I can only surmise the other schools (the Ole Miss players transfered to) had better paper pushers!?!?
    Come on and, ”…get up and GO!”

    • Transferring within the SEC is just one of the issues, the other being Jefferson is a 2015 signee, while the rest of the guys who have already been granted eligibility were 2016 signees, so he can’t just fall in line with the same argument they had. Ole Miss has a say in this as well and you can bet for damn sure they won’t be as easy to allow a player to play right away for another SEC program. I’ll be shocked if he’s allowed to play right away to be honest. I think Grimes has a much better chance.