For the first time since his bone-crushing hit over the middle against Georgia, Florida TE Kyle Pitts is expected to play this week against Kentucky, coach Dan Mullen announced on Monday, and said he’s excited about it.

Mullen said at his regular press conference that Pitts also did not consider opting out following the hit from Georgia S Lewis Cine, which caused a concussion and for Pitts to have surgery on his nose. Pitts has recorded 24 catches for 414 yards and 8 touchdowns, and much throughout the season, Pitts has looked like the best player in the nation.

“He wanted to go play this past weekend,” Mullen said of the opt out consideration. “I don’t think that’s something that ever popped up.”

Mullen said Pitts is another weapon Florida will add into the rotation and he needs to battle for playing time because those other guys have played well.

“He’s such a playmaker, he’s such a leader, he brings such a great personality as well to the team, just having him back on the field is going to be great for everybody,” Mullen said. “For us, and then the matchup problem he causes defenses is great to have him back with us.”

In other injury news, LB James Houston is expected to back this week, but WR Trent Whittemore is still out following a broken rib and punctured lung in the Arkansas game. Mullen said it’d be another week, possibly two weeks.