Florida Gators' receiver Justin Shorter decides to return in 2022
Florida already found out that one key starter will be forgoing the draft in rising sixth-year linebacker Ventrell Miller, and now the Gators get a returning boost for their offense, as well. In a decision that was welcome for the team but not exactly surprising, receiver Justin Shorter announced that he will be forgoing the draft to return to UF for his redshirt senior season in 2022. He announced his decision to return via his Twitter account.
A former five-star recruit who originally signed with Penn State in 2018, Shorter made just 15 catches for 157 yards in his first two seasons with the Nittany Lions. He decided to enter the transfer portal in 2020, where he landed with the Gators and was granted immediate eligibility.
Shorter was a rotational receiver in 2020 and saw 25 catches for 268 yards. In 2021, he became a starter and nearly doubled both of those numbers, reeling in 41 catches for 550 yards. He also has three touchdowns in each of his seasons with the Gators.
His 2021 season ended on a scary note, as he suffered a hit to the head in Florida's Gasparilla Bowl loss to UCF on Thursday night. He was carted off the field and had to be hospitalized, though he was released early the next day and is expected to make a full recovery.
UF already saw one of its starting receivers enter the transfer portal in Jacob Copeland, who announced that he is heading to Maryland. With Shorter coming back, the team will at least have some returning production along with guys who didn't see a lot of targets in 2021 but showed promise like Xzavier Henderson and Ja'Quavion Fraziars.