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National Signing Day 2019: Diwun Black, Arjei Henderson sign with Florida

The Gators turned their two outstanding commits into signees on Wednesday.

NCAA Football: Peach Bowl-Florida vs Michigan Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators entered Wednesday’s National Signing Day hoping to pick up new commitments — a difficult task — and turn their two outstanding hard commits into signees, a slightly easier one.

Mission accomplished on the latter front, as linebacker Diwun Black and wideout Arjei Henderson have both signed with the Gators, per the program.

Florida also had some excellent videos ready to go to celebrate both signings, with actual highlights of Gators making plays dubbed with Mick Hubert making calls as if it were Black and Henderson on the field showing out.

Of the two signings, Henderson’s is still the more surprising, given the Texas playmaker’s shocking commitment to Florida in January at the Under Armour All-America Game that came almost entirely out of the blue; Black has been committed to Florida since August 2018, and the Mississippi native has spent his senior year of high school not playing football and instead doing work to get academically qualified for college football at Osceola High in Kissimmee.

The steep hill that Black had to climb in that regard prevented him from signing with the Gators in December during the Early Signing Period despite his obvious deep love for and firm commitment to the program. But he was able to get things squared away enough in January — with some public announcements of his academic accomplishments even becoming a topic of conversation on Twitter — to take an official visit to Florida, and is obviously eligible to sign a National Letter of Intent as of today.

Whether Black — or Henderson, who has also been dogged by rumors about his potential eligibility — ultimately enrolls at Florida or qualifies for full football participation remains to be seen. But the best sign both players could give today is signing today — and both have.

Black is a four-star prospect who was a fringe five-star prospect before taking the fall off from football. Henderson is a four-star prospect and Florida’s highest-rated wide receiver in its 2019 class. Their respective spots in the 247Sports Composite rankings — No. 140 for Black, and No. 151 for Henderson — may reflect some of the uncertainty about their eventual fate, but both are considered blue-chip talents.

And Florida getting them signed, along with getting Khris Bogle flipped, is the start of a potentially great National Signing Day for the Gators.