Tuesday was not the first time that Gators coach Dan Mullen expressed his frustrations with the NCAA’s waiver process for transfers.
“Call the NCAA,” Mullen said when asked about the status of wide receiver Jordan Pouncey’s waiver for immediate eligibility.
“They don’t consult me on such things,” he said. “I love it, I think that’s a great question, and I encourage a call up there and see what they say.”
With 18 days until the season opener against Ole Miss, the Gators are still waiting on waivers for Pouncey and transfer wide receiver Justin Shorter, despite filing for them months ago. Running back Lorenzo Lingard tweeted that he was given immediate eligibility on May 29 after announcing his intent to transfer to Florida on Jan. 3.
Combine that with linebacker Brenton Cox, who transferred from Georgia last August and didn’t get immediate eligibility last season, and Mullen has had enough with the current rules.
“Unfortunately, (Cox) didn’t get his eligibility, didn’t get the waiver from the NCAA, which that’s something I’d like to see some transparency on how all those things go through,” Mullen said last month.
Back in March, Mullen had similar thoughts on the subject.
“I think there should be just a consistency within the rule, whichever one everyone decides on,” he said. “I just think it would be much cleaner for everyone if there was consistency in the rule.”
Florida had three senior wide receivers from last season graduate as well as having lead wide receiver Van Jefferson declare for the draft, depleting their wide receiver depth. If Pouncey and Shorter don’t receive waivers for this season, UF will start the season with just two wide receivers that had at least 20 receptions last season.
However, Mullen had high praise for senior wide receiver Kadarius Toney’s play during camp. Toney was used more as a runner (12 carries) than a wide receiver (10 catches) last season, but Mullen says that he’s developing more as a receiver this year.
“Everybody knows he’s a playmaker,” Mullen said. “He’s a great playmaker with the ball in his hands, but I think he’s taken such a huge step forward in becoming a wide receiver now.
“It’s one thing to have this utility athlete, get-it-to guy, but when you can become disciplined and a great technician at your position, that can take you to a whole other level.”
Tight end Kyle Pitts, who led the team in receptions (54) last season, didn’t partake in Monday’s scrimmage.
“I didn’t see a need for him to go play in a scrimmage when I’ve seen what he’s been able to do so far every day on a consistent basis at practice,” Mullen said.
Contact Brendan Farrell at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Bfarrell727.