Lin­gard mov­ing from UM to UF

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND - By Chris Hays [email protected]­lan­dosen­

For­mer Or­ange City Univer­sity High run­ning back Lorenzo Lin­gard Jr., the No. 1-ranked player in the Sen­tinel’s 2018 Cen­tral Florida Su­per 60, an­nounced Fri­day morn­ing he is trans­fer­ring from Mi­ami to Florida.

Lin­gard posted the de­ci­sion on his Twit­ter ac­count at about noon Fri­day, writ­ing:

“I am truly blessed and thank­ful to be a Ga­tor. The peo­ple who made this pos­si­ble have changed my life. I am ready to do what­ever it takes to be­come the best Ga­tor as a team player and stu­dent ath­lete. I know my dad is ex­cited for this. I want to max­i­mize ev­ery­thing.”

Lin­gard, 6-foot, 200 pounds, saw lim­ited ac­tion in his first two sea­sons of col­lege foot­ball, play­ing in seven games as a fresh­man at Mi­ami and gain­ing 136 yards and two touch­downs on 17 car­ries. This past sea­son he played in just two games on spe­cial teams and he should have three years of col­lege el­i­gi­bil­ity re­main­ing. He will have to sit out one year due to the NCAA trans­fer rule.

Rate a five-star run­ning back in high school, Lin­gard rushed for 4,478 yards and 69 touch­downs dur­ing his ca­reer. Af­ter his se­nior sea­son, Lin­gard was named the Ga­torade Florida High School Foot­ball Player of the Year and also se­lected to play in the U.S. Army Al­lAmer­i­can Game.

A knee in­jury cut Lin­gard’s fresh­man sea­son short. At mid­sea­son, Mi­ami coach Manny Diaz said Lin­gard had not re­turned full strength from the in­jury and opted to red­shirt him dur­ing the 2019 sea­son. Lin­gard told re­porters he felt he had fully re­cov­ered from his in­jury.

The Gators’ rush­ing at­tack strug­gled be­hind a de­vel­op­ing of­fen­sive line. Tail­back Lam­i­cal Per­ine de­liv­ered an elite per­for­mance against Vir­ginia in the Or­ange Bowl, but it was the se­nior’s fi­nale with the pro­gram.

UF coaches have em­pha­sized im­prove­ment along the of­fen­sive line and in the run game will be key this off­sea­son.

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