Florida celebrated some big news Saturday when CB Chris Steele announced his commitment to the Gators from the All-American Bowl in Houston. Dan Mullen’s squad received some more good news, recruiting of a different kind you might say, later in the day. Junior RB Lamical Perine, UF’s leading rusher (134 carries, 826 yards, 7 TD) in 2018, announced that he will be returning for his senior season. He made the announcement in a note shared on his Twitter account.

Keeping Perine is important for Florida’s 2019 offense. Redshirt junior RB Jordan Scarlett (131 carries, 776 yards) declared for the NFL Draft. Returning running backs Malik Davis (out the 2018 season after three games due to injury) and Dameon Pierce (69 carries, 424 yards) will presumably be involved in the ground game, but Perine will undoubtedly be the lead back. The Theodore (Ala.) product was a 3-star recruit who signed with Florida in the 2016 class. In the note, Perine recalls that Mullen, then at Mississippi State, was actually the first coach to offer him a scholarship.

In the Peach Bowl against Michigan, Perine logged six carries for 76 yards and a touchdown as well as four catches for 22 yards and a touchdown.