Panthers wide receiver finds success with new team

Wide receiver C.J. Worton (11) stiff arms a defender to reach the end zone during the Panthers game against UMass on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at Riccardo Silva Stadium. (Gerard Albert III/PantherNow)

By Brett Shweky/Sports Director



Earlier this year on June 21, head coach Butch Davis gathered his squad to the Panthers’ meeting room to make an announcement.

In a video posted on Twitter, Davis called on wide receiver C.J. Worton, who recently transferred to the program from the Florida Gators.

Davis asked the former South Dade High School star if he worked another job outside of the football field.

“Yes, sir. Construction,” Worton said.

“I’m going to give you 24 hours to quit that job because we’re going to put you on scholarship,” replied Davis.”

The video concluded with the entire Panthers team cheering on their fellow teammate.

“It was awesome to award CJ Worton with a scholarship today,” said Davis via his Twitter account. “He worked extraordinarily hard last year and earned every bit of it. We are very happy to be able to reward him for his hard work.”

Coming out of high school, Worton was listed as a three-star recruit and also the No. 57-ranked receiver for 2014, according to the 247Sports player rankings.

He helped led South Dade to a 14-1 record and also to the 2013 FHSAA Class 8A State Championship. During the championship game against Apopka, he caught six receptions for 159 yards and three touchdowns.

He finished his senior year with 42 receptions for 1,052 yards and 15 touchdowns.

During his three-year stint with the Florida Gators, the Homestead, Fla. native received limited playing time and appeared in only 13 games.

The highlight of his career with the University of Florida was in 2015 SEC Championship game, where he managed to haul in a 46-yard touchdown between two Alabama Crimson Tide defenders.

Worton finished his Gators career with 10 catches, 126 yards and two touchdowns.

Since transferring to FIU, Worton has made the best of the opportunity given to him.

In his first four games for the Panthers, Worton leads the team in every receiving category. The redshirt junior has caught 14 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns.

While facing the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 22, Worton scored the Panthers lone two touchdowns. He finished the game with five receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

Worton looks to continue his success against Middle Tennessee as the Panthers host the Blue Raiders at Riccardo Silva Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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