Florida football: WR Justin Shorter back, Xzavier Henderson out vs. Vanderbilt

Kevin Brockway
Gator Sports

Florida Gators wide receiver Justin Shorter will be back for Saturday's game at Vanderbilt, but the Gators will be down another starting receiver in Xzavier Henderson.

Shorter, who has posted a team-high 471 yards receiving and 2 TDs, has missed Florida's last two games with a hamstring injury. 

Henderson has 38 catches for 410 yards and 2 TDs on the season.

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With Henderson out, wide receiver Ricky Pearsall will return punts. Pearsall was a former punt returner at Arizona State before transferring to Florida and returned punts Saturday against South Carolina.

Diwun Black off team

Florida coach Billy Napier confirmed that linebacker Diwun Black was no longer on the team. Black had announced on Twitter he was entering the transfer portal. The 6-foot-3 Black had a highlight moment in late September when he recovered an on-sides kick against Tennessee, but had not played since Oct. 2 against Eastern Washington.

"Diwun is focusing on academics right now," Napier said. "It’s really important that he has additional time for academics. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

Black's announcement comes on the heels of wide receiver Trent Whittemore and tight end Nick Elksnis both announcing earlier in the week that they will be entering the transfer portal before the end of the season.

"Sometimes when they do it before the season’s out. I don’t necessarily think that’s a positive," Napier said. "But it’s the rules that we’ve been given, right? You can sit around and worry about that or you can just focus on the things you can control. That’s what we’re doing. It’s to be expected, right? I think we all understand it’s happening everywhere. To some degree, it is what it is."