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Florida transfers Trevon Grimes, Van Jefferson granted immediate eligibility by NCAA

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The Gators’ 2018 receiving corps just got a lot more potent.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Gators wide receivers Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson have both been granted immediate eligibility for the 2018 season by the NCAA after applying for it via the NCAA waiver process, Florida announced Thursday.

Grimes, who transferred to Florida from Ohio State, is immediately eligible with no other contingencies. Jefferson, who transferred to Florida from Ole Miss, is still technically waiting on an SEC waiver process, which Florida says is “ongoing,” but his clearance is expected to be a formality.

And Jefferson was always considered far more likely to get immediate eligibility at Florida than Grimes, given that his departure from Ole Miss followed the firing of Hugh Freeze after a scandal involving Freeze calling an escort service and that several other Ole Miss players had been granted clearance to play elsewhere in 2018.

Understandably, Dan Mullen’s quote on the clearance of both players has him sounding excited — and like there’s no doubt Jefferson will ultimately play this fall.

“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.

Of the two players, Grimes probably has the higher ceiling — he was a former five-star recruit from St. Thomas Aquinas in South Florida, but never quite cracked the on-field rotation during his brief time — and Jefferson, a former four-star recruit, has had the better collegiate career to date, racking up 999 receiving yards and four touchdowns over the last two seasons at Ole Miss.

Both, though, should be major factors in Florida’s receiving corps, which struggled without suspended junior Antonio Callaway in 2017. Tyrie Cleveland and Kadarius Toney would seem to be in the mix to start, as could freshman Jacob Copeland and veterans Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain, but Grimes and Jefferson could well be starting for Florida in their first game as Gators — and, given that both have occupied the spot for Thing to Be Excited About All Offseason for many Florida fans, their clearance is a wonderful bit of news to hear just before the beginning of Florida’s fall camp.