Photo Credit: University of Florida Atletics Association
It was only a year ago that Florida Gators junior Diwun Black was still attempting to work his way into Division 1 football, a journey that took him through junior college for a couple of years before landing back at his dream destination with Florida.
Now, Black is spending time on the Florida roster, attempting to find his home on the team's defense. According to Florida secondary coach Wesley McGriff, Black will be primarily playing STAR - or nickel defensive back - for now.
“I mean, he’s very long, very long athlete. He’s got good run ability. He’s constantly improving his change of direction," McGriff said on Tuesday when asked about Black.
"Constantly improving his demeanor in the classroom and knowing what to do, and you know just go about that communication deal, just communicating and knowing your assignments, but he’s a guy that certainly has a skill set and talent that he’ll be able to support us down the road when we get going in this thing.”
Black is one of the latest additions to the Florida football program, angling at becoming one of the core members of the defense over the next couple of years.
While McGriff says that the team won't "pigeonhole" any of its players into simply one spot, Black has primarily worked there, and it looks as though he's had some success.
Prior to his JUCO stint, Black was slated to be a part of the Gators' 2018 recruiting class but was deemed ineligible, unable to enroll. During Black's recruitment, he and linebacker Khris Bogle were visiting the program at the same time, now they're teammates at last.
"I mean, Diwun is my brother, he's always been my brother," Bogle said on Tuesday. "We talk all the time, every day, constantly. If you need advice he can come to me, and if I need advice, I go to him."
As teammates, Bogle has seen firsthand what type of player that Black is, he's unique, one of a kind, he said.
"He's a one-of-a-kind player," he said. "Not every player in the country can have what Diwun Black has. He's just been great, he's just been working real hard [this] offseason and coming in now to play a role."
Florida will now try to hone in on his talents to potentially upgrade its secondary unit. With a long, lanky player like Black, having someone who knows how to attack the football - 12 interceptions, three pick-six's during his senior season of high school -, will be incredibly beneficial moving forward.
At STAR, Florida needs a defender that is a sort of unicorn, do-it-all player, and Black could very well be the next man up to do just that.
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