By David Boclair
Dan Mullen believes Van Jefferson is in the right place at the right time.
“Our program is about hard work, and that’s something he believes in,” the second-year Florida coach said Monday at SEC Football Media Days. “So I think it’s a great fit for him to be in a program that really has the same values that he has.”
Jefferson, of course, did not start out at Florida. The Ravenwood High School graduate played his first two seasons at Ole Miss but transferred last year in the wake of that school’s issues with the NCAA and ultimately received an NCAA waiver that allowed him to play in 2018.
The 6-foot-2, 197-pound wide receiver led the Gators last season with 35 receptions, 503 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions.
He resisted the temptation to turn pro and decided to return for his senior season. It’s a decision Mullen believes will offer immediate dividends this fall and will continue to pay off when the time comes for Jefferson to make the jump to the NFL.
“I mean he is a worker,” Mullen said. “He is one of those guys that is constantly working every day on being a better route runner, working on his hands, studying the game, understanding the game.
“… Coming back this year, I think he’s a guy that has great maturity to understand and say, … ‘Here’s parts of my game I can continue to work on and put myself in position to be completely prepared when I get an opportunity to go to the next level.’ And he’s done that all spring and has had a tremendous spring and has really adapted well into the program. And it’s really great.”
Photo from Getty Images.