Florida RB Jordan Scarlett, WR Rick Wells among four suspended Gators reinstated
Florida's roster got a boost on Tuesday with the return of several key members of the program
Florida running back Jordan Scarlett, wide receiver Rick Wells, as well as linebackers James Houston and Ventrell Miller are all enrolled in school and have been cleared to return to the Gators after serving season-long suspensions stemming from a credit card fraud case that resulted in the suspension of nine players in 2017.
The return of the players off of what was a previously-indefinite suspension is a huge boost for a Gators program that will enter winter workouts under first-year head coach Dan Mullen.
"All of our players understand the standards and expectations we have of them to be members of the Florida football program," Mullen said in a statement.
The most notable addition of the bunch is Scarlett. The 5-foot-10, 213-pound native of Fort Lauderdale rushed for a team-high 889 yards and six touchdowns in 2016 under former coach Jim McElwain, and was an integral part of the Gators' second consecutive SEC East title.
Malik Davis emerged as a star early in the 2017 season in Scarlett's absence but missed the final four games of the season with a knee injury. The return of Scarlett and a presumably healthy Davis, along with rising junior Lamical Perine, gives Mullen a pretty stout backfield to work with as he implements his new system.
There's still a massive quarterback question lingering over the Gators program after Feleipe Franks struggled in 2017, and pressure could be on new signee Emory Jones to step in and make an immediate impact. Whoever takes the snaps, having a deep and diverse backfield to fall back on will keep the Gators relevant in the division during Year 1 under Mullen.
Wells, Houston and Miller haven't made as big of an impact on the field as Scarlett has, but their return will bolster depth and give the new staff options.
Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports reports that a fifth player, defensive end Keivonnis Davis, is also enrolled in school but is not working out with the team and recovering from a scooter accident last fall. The four other players suspended for the 2017 season have either moved on to the NFL or to other schools.
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