Florida football has picked up a 5-star running back from the transfer portal. This one is actually a pretty big get.
After two seasons in Coral Gables, a former 5-star running back has decided to make Florida football his new home.
Via his Twitter account, running back Lorenzo Lingard Jr. announced he was transferring from Miami to the Gators.
He rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in 2018 behind current Seattle Seahawks running back Travis Homer. However, he was not used at all during the 2019 season as the Hurricanes used leading rusher DeeJay Dallas for a bulk of the rushing.
“I am truly blessed and thankful to be a Gator,” Lingard said on his Twitter feed. “The people who made this possible have changed my life. I am ready to do whatever it takes to become the best Gator as a team player and student-athlete.
“I know my Dad is excited for this … I want to maximize everything.”
After his debut in 2018 against FCS Savannah State where he had 82 yards, he returned two weeks later for 50 yards on 10 carries against Florida International. Three weeks later, he was knocked out for the season with a knee injury against Virginia.
Since then, Hurricanes’ head coach Manny Diaz elected to rest Lingard and not use him at all for the 2019 campaign.
His eligibility will be up in the air as he will have to make a case to the NCAA for a waiver to play next season. If that doesn’t work, he will wind up sitting out the 2020 season.
As for Florida football, Lingard’s transfer adds more firepower to the Gators’ backfield.
After Capital One Orange Bowl Most Valuable Player Lamical Perine graduates and presumably enters the NFL Draft, Florida football will have redshirt sophomore Malik Davis and true sophomore Dameon Pierce as the only returners with experience.
Pierce had 320 yards and four touchdowns on 54 carries while Davis had just 102 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries. Redshirt freshman Iverson Clement and true freshman Nay’Quan Wright also had limited action during the 2019 season.
In all, if he’s healthy, adding Lingard to the lineup makes the Florida football running game extremely dangerous. Even if it’s for the 2021 season, Lingard is a massive addition for the Gators.