Jud Fabian, Austin Langworthy and Kirby McMullen

McMullen, No. 52, will return to Florida for another year.

Florida senior third baseman Kirby McMullen will return to the Gators for his redshirt senior season. His decision was first reported by Gator Country’s Nick de la Torre.

McMullen is the first Gator who will take advantage of the NCAA’s ruling to extend eligibility to players affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Left fielder Austin Langworthy is another notable senior who could opt to return to Florida in the wake of the team’s short season.

McMullen appeared in all but one game for the Gators in 2020 and accumulated a team-best 14 walks and his 14 runs were the second-most on the team. He had 15 hits, 10 RBI, four doubles and a .458 on-base percentage — good enough for second on the team — in his 54 at-bats.

He started all 16 games at third base for the Gators.

In 2019, he hit at a .273 clip and had six hits in his 22 at-bats. Clearly, his opportunities increased in 2020 and he took advantage of them.

McMullen’s return is a welcome one. UF had the best start to a season in program history after a dominant 16-1 onslaught and McMullen’s experience and hitting surely played a role in UF’s dominance.

Follow Joseph Salvador on Twitter @JosephSalvador_. Contact him at [email protected].

Joseph Salvador is a Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida and was previously Sports Editor for Broward College's newspaper The Observer. He has been with the Alligator since Summer 2019.