Undrafted – The Network

Van Jefferson. This Years Gator Rookies Pt. 2

It’s Van Jefferson this week. Looks like the Gators will be playing SEC football only this year, going 10-0 and winning a National Championship. All of which I won’t be able to attend. Quite typically i’m expecting nothing less.

BUT we’re here today to warm your eyeballs up to the new sheriff in town catching passes from Jared Goff over at the new (empty) SoFi stadium in LA. And his name is Van Jefferson.

Van transferred over to the Gators from Ole Miss after the NCAA issued a sanction to the Rebels banning them from bowl games and reducing their scholarships, because of excessive involvement of boosters, or some naughty shit like that. You can read about that whole deal here:

Onto Grator Things

So Van ultimately transferred, and he became a highly respected, hard working playmaker for the Gators.

The Gator receivers worked tirelessly on their get offs from the line, first step quickness and change of direction, and being able to sell a defender, and ultimately, nobody was better at it than Van Jefferson. He is one of the smoothest route runners I have ever seen, and terrorised superstar freshman corner Derek Stingley Jr when the Gators played LSU this past year. For those tape loving fanatics out there, he’s a beautiful breakdown of that unravelling.

ORLANDO, FL – AUGUST 24: Van Jefferson #12 of the Florida Gators in action against the Miami Hurricanes in the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Van was part of a tight knit receiving core, and one of the focuses and philosophies of that unit was that they all contributed on special teams. Most of them ran as gunners on kick off and punt, and Van recovered a fumbled kick at one point. Dan Mullen has his receivers do this to add another skill that will stand out on their resumes once they get to the NFL draft. Giving them the best possible opportunity to get a roster spot.

Draft & the NFL

Van surprised me on draft day, getting drafted in the second round by the LA Rams. A Jones fracture in his foot that he knew nothing about meant Van had to sit out the combine. I felt terrible for him. Spending the whole off season getting ready to show out, wanting to perform.This years draft was overflowing with wide receiver talent that saw the likes of Laviska Shenault available in round two, so i though Van might be a third or fourth round guy considering he couldn’t showcase his athleticism at the combine, but Sean McVay and the Rams saw something they liked, and i’m not surprised.

Van has everything he needs to succeed at the next level. He’s 6″2, with exceptional hands, and incredible routes. He has all the tools. He’ll beat you over the top, he’ll beat you EVERY time on a slant, and you’re going to struggle to stay with him off the line. I think he’ll be very successful in the NFL, and I’m a huge fan of this.

From the moment he got to Gainesville he was locked in. Never a murmur of any trouble, not a single issue. Just a hard working young man with a dream. On social media it’s clear that his little girl is his everything. He doesn’t do a lot of talking, and in LA, you’re going to get a hard working, determined stud, who could easily be a star in the league.

I’ll leave you with his highlights. Always a Gator. I’ll be locked in for the Rams games for years to come, and need to make it over there to see him play in the flesh at SoFi. Good luck to that young man. Go Gators.

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