(CBS Sports) - The Florida Gators have emerged victorious in the Kerry Blackshear Jr. sweepstakes. Mike White and the Gators on Wednesday night snagged the Virginia Tech graduate transfer power forward over Kentucky, Tennessee and a potential return to VT, CBS Sports' Gary Parrish has learned.
Blackshear has one season of eligibility remaining and can play immediately for Florida as a graduate transfer next season, per NCAA rules.
When he originally announced he intended to explore the transfer market, Blackshear simultaneously declared for the NBA Draft. Ultimately, he withdrew from the draft just before the deadline, allowing him to return to school and to finish out the exploration process of transferring. He long waffled on where he would spend the next season playing basketball, but Florida always seemed to be near the top of his list through the duration of his second recruitment.
The 6-foot-10, 250 pound forward averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Hokies last season and figures to be an instant impact player for the Gators. With big man Kevarrius Hayes exhausting his eligibility, Blackshear should be able to slide in immediately as the team's starting center.
Florida's addition of Blackshear only amplifies the hype around the program as it preps for the 2019-20 season. White and Co. have a top-10 recruiting class led by two five-star recruits, and they also bring back former five-star Andrew Nembhard for a sophomore season after he briefly tested the NBA Draft waters.