Ole Miss transfer Van Jefferson officially eligible at Florida (Updated)

Ole Miss transfer Van Jefferson is the most proven receiver on the Florida roster.  (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)

Update: Aug. 13 – 11:30 a.m.

Van Jefferson can officially play for Florida in 2018. The program announced Monday morning that Jefferson, a transfer wide receiver from Ole Miss, has received a waiver from the SEC to suit up for the Gators this fall.

The SEC used to be strict about players transferring within the conference. However, the conference changed some rules this summer. One new rule allows athletes to transfer within the SEC without any restrictions if their original school was hit with a postseason ban. Because that applies to Ole Miss, Jefferson was granted a waiver on Monday.

Original story: Aug. 2 – 10:45 a.m.

Just ahead of the start of preseason camp, Florida received some really good news.

The school announced Thursday morning that two transfer wide receivers, Van Jefferson (Ole Miss) and Trevon Grimes (Ohio State), are eligible to play for the Gators this season after being granted waivers by the NCAA.

“I’m excited for Trevon and Van. We appreciate the NCAA’s understanding in both situations, and are thankful to the UAA’s administration and compliance staff for their role in helping guide Trevon, Van, their families and our coaching staff through this over the past six-plus months,” coach Dan Mullen said.

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This is big news for Florida

Entering its first season with Mullen as head coach, having both Jefferson and Grimes available gives the Gators much-needed playmaking ability on offense.

Grimes was a five-star recruit who saw brief action in his lone season at Ohio State, catching three passes for 20 yards. Jefferson is a much more proven commodity. Over the past two seasons at Ole Miss, Jefferson combined for 91 catches, 999 yards and four touchdowns.

Jefferson immediately becomes the most proven receiver on the UF roster. He and Grimes will provide a nice complement to Tyrie Cleveland (36 catches, 708 yards, 4 TDs in two seasons), Josh Hammond (32 catches, 423 yards in two seasons) and Kadarius Toney (15 catches, 152 yards).

Florida will have a quarterback competition play out over the next month with Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask as the main contenders. Whoever wins the job just got two more weapons.

Jefferson has one more hurdle to clear before he’s officially eligible

Jefferson left Ole Miss after the program was given NCAA sanctions. The school initially put limits on where he could transfer, but ultimately removed the restrictions. That enabled Jefferson to choose Florida as his transfer destination.

Like with other players who left Ole Miss, Florida appealed with the NCAA for Jefferson to be immediately eligible. With that hurdle cleared, there is one more step to take for Jefferson to see the field.

The SEC used to be pretty strict with its rules about transferring within the conference, but much of that changed this summer. The conference now allows graduate transfers within the SEC to play immediately, but that’s not the rule change that applies to Jefferson.

Instead, because Jefferson has not graduated yet, a new rule that allows athletes to transfer within the SEC without any restrictions if their original school was hit with a postseason ban (like Ole Miss) is what will ultimately get Jefferson on the field.

“Jefferson now needs a similar waiver from the Southeastern Conference since he is an intraconference transfer,” Florida said in a press release. “That waiver process is ongoing.”

The waiver is expected to be granted, and Jefferson would become one of several Ole Miss transfers to play for a new team this fall.

Trevon Grimes was granted a hardship waiver

Grimes took a leave of absence from Ohio State program last October due to a “family health issue,” according to Urban Meyer. The Fort Lauderdale native then made the move to transfer back to his home state.

Back in December, after he signed with UF, Grimes told the Sun Sentinel that he had applied for a hardship waiver. Had that not been granted by the NCAA, he would have had to sit out the 2018 season before having three years of eligibility remaining.

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