Robinson says Gators 'going to find a way to incorporate' Diwun Black

Graham Hall
Special to The Sun

Now that junior linebacker Diwun Black is enrolled at Florida and practicing with the Gators, the inquiry has turned from “when” to “where."

UF defensive coordinator Todd Grantham didn’t nail Black down to one position when Grantham spoke to the media Friday, highlighting Black’s ability to play several spots on the defense. 

“First of all, Diwun's a guy that's got high energy. Really good athlete, can run. I mean he'll be an off-the-ball player for us,” Grantham said. “He'll be an off-the-ball player that will play multiple things."

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A semi-enlightening answer, sure, but not one that gives a realistic impression of Black’s placement, or his potential impact this season. 

Considering he just arrived in May, missing all of winter workouts and UF’s spring camp, it remains to be seen whether Black is in position to play significant minutes in Florida’s defense this season. 

With the man presumably in charge of Black’s development — linebackers coach Christian Robinson — speaking to the media Tuesday, it seemed clarity was in the cards when it came to Black’s position. 

But that wasn’t the case; as it currently stands — another reminder here that it’s incredibly early into his UF career — Black’s ideal position is as a multi-tool of sorts for the Florida defense. 

“The beauty of what we do is we ask our guys to know multiple positions, because at any point with the tempo that offenses give you, or certain personnel groups, you have to adapt,” Robinson said. “With him, he’s already been learning ‘X’s.’ That’s what we try to do is teach ‘X’s’ — what is the concept we’re learning.”

From the sound of it, Black is getting a grasp of several spots on defense and absorbing general knowledge before he learns the intricacies of each position. Naturally, Robinson understands the excitement for Black and the eagerness for him to make an immediate impact, but it’s important for all parties to remember that the transition from JUCO to the Southeastern Conference isn’t typically an overnight process. Sure, the occasional Cam Newton comes along, but those are few and far between. 

Robinson’s just elated the development process for Black is ultimately happening at Florida. 

 during the Gators' practice on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at the Sanders football practice fields in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Isabella Marley

That in itself is cause for celebration, though those on the ride for Black’s journey know greater success is still in store. 

“To finally get him here has been an awesome thing. His story, I remember he was one of the first guys I had on campus for an official visit. Him and his mother here and just how excited they were to be Gators. And to take that journey, I’m just so proud of him and to finally be here,” Robinson said. “Some guys take this game for granted because they get used to how nice this place is and all the nice things you get as a student-athlete at the University of Florida. He’s walking around. We got snacks, when you don’t have that you’re more thankful and you realize where you’re at. I’m excited about him because he just goes hard. He’s learning. It’s like having a freshman out there, but he’s learning. But we’re going to find a way to incorporate him into our group and help us.”