The Florida Gators on Friday locked up the long-awaited transfer of Virginia Cavaliers tight end Jake McGee, a fifth-year player who will be eligible to play immediately and compete in 2014.
Virginia’s leading receiver last season – 43 catches for 395 yards, two touchdowns – McGee received his undergraduate degree in May and will play while taking graduate school classes at Florida. He was likely able to avoid the Southeastern Conference’s transfer rule by going for a graduate degree not offered at UVA.
“It’s been an interesting process. It’s definitely weird to leave a school you graduated from and have been with for four years and I have a lot of good memories there, but I’m excited to play my last year at Florida and hopefully we’ll win some ballgames,” McGee told the school’s website, which says he will begin classes on Monday. “Everything will be new to me, but I’m confident in my ability to get to know guys and create relationships. I don’t think it will take too long for the guys to accept me as one of their own.”
The addition of McGee is big for the Gators, which have been searching for a sure-handed pass catcher to take pressure off redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel.
McGee amassed 769 yards and seven touchdowns on 71 catches over the last two seasons, averaging 10.8 yards per reception and hauling in five touchdowns on 28 touches as a junior in 2012.
At 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, he will be UF’s biggest on-field target at the position with a legitimate ability to make plays since 2009 when Cornelius Ingram suited up for Florida.
The Gators are also trying to work freshman TE DeAndre Goolsby into the fold. Goolsby got an extensive look at the position during spring practice but must still get adjusted to offensive coordinator Kurt Roper’s system and college football in general.