Kerry Blackshear Jr. commits to Florida

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Florida picks up the offseason’s best transfer, as Virginia Tech big man Kerry Blackshear Jr. is headed to the Gators.

A graduate transfer who is immediately eligible, Blackshear was the most highly-recruited transfer of this offseason. He confirmed his transfer on Instagram on Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-10 Blackshear is a Florida native coming off of a big season with the Hokies as he averaged 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game last year while shooting 50 percent from the floor. The Gators landing Blackshear is important because he’s a go-to scorer in the post who can draw attention and double teams. Virginia Tech played through Blackshear extensively last season as he helped them make the Round of 32. He was projected as a second-team All-American this season before we knew where he would be suiting up.

The recruiting win for Florida over other SEC schools like Kentucky and Tennessee also means that the Gators kept the big man away from those schools as he joins an intriguing young core. Sophomore guard Andrew Nembhard is back while five-star freshmen like Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann are expected to receive major minutes as the steady presence of Blackshear is huge inside for the Gators.

Over recent years, Florida has struggled to find consistent perimeter shooting, so to land a safety net in the post in Blackshear is critical at this point in the offseason. The SEC already had four teams in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25. Blackshear’s addition bumps them up into the top ten.