Former 5-star and Gators RB Lingard ruled immediately eligible

Miami running back Lorenzo Lingard (1) runs during the second half against FIU in this, Sept. 22, 2018 game in Miami Gardens. Miami won 31-17. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Florida’s backfield received good news Friday afternoon from Lorenzo Lingard, the former five-star prospect who transferred to UF from Miami in time for the spring semester. 

The 6-foot, 200-pound running back out of Orange City announced he’d been cleared to play in 2020 on his social media account, giving the Gators another intriguing talent in a unit tasked with replacing senior La’mical Perine. The Gainesville Sun later confirmed Lingard had received an immediate eligibility waiver from the NCAA. 

With the question regarding his eligibility now answered, Lingard will look to compete for reps this season in a UF running back unit led by Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis, with Nay’quan Wright and Iverson Clement vying for a role, too. 

As for the Gators, they now await word on another five-star transfer: former Penn State wide receiver Justin Shorter. Considering the wideout transferred to Florida on Jan. 26 – a little over three weeks after the addition of Lingard – and it would seem a decision regarding Shorter is coming sooner rather than later. 

Lingard’s freshman season with the ‘Canes was cut short by an injury after rushing for 136 yards on just 14 carries; he would play just two games in 2019 as a sophomore.