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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
<p><span>Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. (24) and Georgia Tech forward James Banks III (1) vie for a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Atlanta.</span></p>

Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. (24) and Georgia Tech forward James Banks III (1) vie for a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Atlanta.

The Florida men’s basketball team’s final scholarship spot has now been filled.

On Wednesday, Kerry Blackshear Jr., a 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward/center from Orlando, made the decision to commit to UF over Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas A&M.

After withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft in late May, he announced his plans to utilize his final year of college eligibility as a graduate transfer.

A four-star recruit and the 125th-ranked player in the 2015 recruiting class according to 247sports, Blackshear spent the last four years at Virginia Tech. He averaged 11.2 points and six rebounds per game during his career as a Hokie, and finished with 14.9 PPG and 7.5 RPG last season after leading his team to the Sweet Sixteen. 

With Blackshear’s size and versatility, Florida coach Mike White now has something he hasn’t had in the post during his tenure at UF. Blackshear has the unique ability at his height to put the ball on the floor, finish in the post and take the ball beyond the three-point line.

He made the commitment official on his Instagram.

“First of all, I want to thank coach Buzz (Williams) and the amazing staff over these past four years,” he wrote. “This team has become my family and I am so thankful for it… My next chapter will begin in Gainesville, Florida. #GoGators.”

This month, Blackshear made visits to Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and UF as he pondered where he wanted to finish his college career.

With the addition of Blackshear, the return of point guard Andrew Nembhard and two five-star recruits in Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann, Florida has now solidified itself as a contender to win the SEC and make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament next year.

Follow Evan Lepak on Twitter @evanmplepak. Contact him atelepak@alligator.org.

Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. (24) and Georgia Tech forward James Banks III (1) vie for a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Atlanta.

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