Florida football: Five-star transfer RB Lorenzo Lingard gets immediate eligibility

By Adam Silverstein
May 29, 2020
Florida football: Five-star transfer RB Lorenzo Lingard gets immediate eligibility

Image Credit: Twitter / GatorsFB

One of the top prospects from the Class of 2018 decided to continue his career with the Florida Gators back in January as five-star running back Lorenzo Lingard (Orange City, FL) announced a transfer from Miami to Florida. On Friday, Lingard learned that his waiver for immediate eligibility has been granted by the NCAA, meaning he will be able to suit up for the Gators in 2020.

“Approved to play this year,” Lingard tweeted. “Best birthday gift ever.”

Rated as the No. 25 overall player in the nation two recruiting classes ago, Lingard was also considered the country’s No. 2 running back, per the 247Sports Composite. He committed to play for UM over in-state rival Florida State out of high school.

Lingard (6-foot, 200 pounds) played six games in 2018 before a knee injury (torn LCL, sprained ACL) ended his true freshman season early. He took the field only twice in 2019 — due to his recovery and competition at the position — and chose to take a redshirt, entering his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

As an undergraduate transfer, Lingard would not have been eligible to play for the Gators until the 2021 season if not for the waiver, which was likely processed as he stated a desire to be close to home due to an ailing family member. Including 2020, he will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Due to his ranking on 247Sports, Lingard is the highest-rated prospect on Florida’s roster since it signed five-stars Martez Ivey and CeCe Jefferson as part of the Class of 2015.

Florida had been pursuing a running back in the Class of 2020 but did not end up adding one as part of its recruiting class. The Gators return only four scholarship running backs next season in rising redshirt junior Malik Davis, junior Dameon Pierce, redshirt sophomore Iverson Clement and expected redshirt freshman Nay’Quan Wright.

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