Florida LB Diwun Black dismissed from Gators by Billy Napier, three players enter transfer portal

By OnlyGators.com Staff
November 16, 2022
Florida LB Diwun Black dismissed from Gators by Billy Napier, three players enter transfer portal

Image Credit: @GatorsFB / Twitter

Florida Gators linebacker Diwun Black is no longer a member of the football program. The defender, who committed to the Gators twice (first out of high school, again out of junior college), was dismissed from the team on Wednesday with one of Florida’s team writers confirming he is no longer part of the program.

Black saw limited action in both his seasons with the Gators, most notably recovering an onside kick against Tennessee this year. He had been listed as “out” in the injury report across multiple weeks with a lower-body ailment after previously totaling three solo tackles in four games with one for lost yardage along with a quarterback hurry. Black returned to the Florida depth chart ahead of last week’s game against South Carolina where he was listed fourth at inside linebacker.

“I have Officially enter[ed] the transfer portal,” Black said via Twitter shortly after news of his dismissal broke.

Previously a four-star athlete in the Class of 2019, Black flipped from Ole Miss to Florida in August 2018. He was ultimately forced to enroll in junior college where he emerged as the No. 1 JUCO prospect available in the 2021 cycle. When Black was able to recommit to the Gators, he jumped at the opportunity to join the team for which he wanted to play out of high school.

“Diwun is focusing on academics right now,” head coach Billy Napier said Wednesday. “It’s really important that he has additional time for academics. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

Black is the second player Napier has dismissed from the program this season with redshirt junior LB Brenton Cox Jr. departing the team a few weeks ago. The former five-star prospect exited with a then-team high eight tackles for loss and nine quarterback hurries along with three sacks and 35 total tackles.

“These are hard things,” Napier said upon Cox’s dismissal. “… It’s a healthy thing for our team. The important thing to understand here is we make every decision in the best interest of the team.”

At the time, Napier insinuated that the move was not based on a single incident but rather an accumulation of situations in which he did not believe Cox was putting the program first. Two sources later confirmed as much to OnlyGators.com. Cox has since declared for the 2023 NFL Draft and begun preparations for his career.

Napier will likely be asked about Black’s dismissal during his weekly press conference Wednesday evening. This level of attrition is not unexpected as Napier indicated as much was coming a few weeks ago.

Over the last week, Florida has also seen three players announce their intentions to transfer.

Redshirt senior wide receiver Trent Whittemore entered the transfer portal as a graduate student. The Gainesville, Florida, product saw his usage drop substantially under Napier. He caught 19 balls for 210 yards and a touchdown across 11 games last season, also completing 3 of 4 passes for 41 yards and two scores. This year, he caught just four passes for 87 yards across seven games. His decision likely almost assuredly resulted in four-star athlete Creed Whittemore (Gainesville, FL) decommitting from the Gators. Creed ultimately pledged to Mississippi State where he will get a shot to play quarterback; it is largely expected that Trent will join his brother at MSU for one season.

Redshirt freshman tight end Nick Elksnis previously announced he will enter the transfer portal on Dec. 5 at the conclusion of the season. On Monday, redshirt junior TE Griffin McDowell also chose to enter the portal.

Four of the five aforementioned players — Black, Cox, Whittemore, Elksnis — no longer have their names on Florida’s official team roster. McDowell’s name remains at this time.

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