University of Florida

Who is Jordan Scarlett, the Florida Gators running back drafted by the Panthers?

Florida running back Jordan Scarlett (25) runs by Michigan linebacker Khaleke Hudson (7) during the first half of the Peach Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Atlanta.
Florida running back Jordan Scarlett (25) runs by Michigan linebacker Khaleke Hudson (7) during the first half of the Peach Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Atlanta. AP

Jordan Scarlett’s is getting his chance in the NFL.

The Carolina Panthers selected the Florida Gators running back and St. Thomas Aquinas alumnus with the 154th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday. Scarlett is the fifth UF player selected in the NFL draft this year, following right tackle Jawaan Taylor, edge rusher Jachai Polite, defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and linebacker Vosean Joseph.

Scarlett finished his UF career with 1,846 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns over 35 career games. A redshirt junior, he did not play in the 2017 season while serving a year-long suspension along with eight other teammates while being investigated for credit card fraud.

Catch up on the top ten picks from the first round of the NFL Draft.

First-year UF head coach Dan Mullen gave Scarlett a second chance this year, and the Fort Lauderdale native made the most of it. He ran for 777 yards and 5 touchdowns this year while splitting carries with Lamical Perine and Dameon Pierce.

“I feel this decision is in my best interest for my future and I have been so fortunate for the undeniable opportunity to live out my childhood dream and play in the National Football League,” Scarlett wrote in a message posted on his Instagram page when he declared for the draft. “I was truly blessed with the opportunity to be a student athlete at such a prestigious university and I will be forever grateful.The relationships I have built over the years were priceless and memories I made will last forever.”

Scarlett came to UF as a four-star prospect and the No. 12 running back in the 2015 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports composite ranking. Scarlett, who played his senior year at St. Thomas Aquinas after starting at University School, was a four-time Miami Herald first-team All-County selection, rushing for 4,083 yards and 73 touchdowns during his prep career.

Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.
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