Florida Poised for Big In-State O-Line Haul

There has been a little noise about the Florida Gators' small offensive line class in 2011. The Gators signed just two offensive linemen and both came out-of-state. The 2011 class wasn't really a banner year along the offensive trenches in the state of Florida, but the 2012 class is a whole lot different, at least early on. Florida is poised to take in a good group of linemen and they need them.

Florida has been pretty straight forward with prospects about the need for offensive tackles. The previous staff recruited mauler types at every position, guys that could move straight ahead and bury the man in front of them. In pro-style offense they need tackles with lateral movement and long arms that can fend off pass rushers.

This is the year in Florida for that kind of need.

The Gators offered three offensive linemen total from the state of Florida a year ago. It just wasn't a strong year for the position in-state and they went out of state to sign Trip Thurman and Tommy Jordan.

It is an entirely different story this go around. Florida already has offers out to five in-state offensive linemen. All five happen to be offensive tackle types and they have been telling a few prospects already they are looking for more outside help on the line than interior linemen.

John Theus (6-6, 292) of Jacksonville Bolles, Avery Young (6-5, 270) of Palm Beach Gardens, Pat Miller (6-7, 275) of Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, Jessamen Dunker (6-6, 315) of Boynton Beach , and Abraham Garcia (6-6, 320) of Ft. Lauderdale University HS already have verbal offers from the coaching staff at Florida. All five have visited Florida before. Theus, Young, and Dunker have visited Gainesville since Will Muschamp and company have taken over the coaching staff.

There are at least two more tackle type players that will likely garner offers before signing day. Evan Goodman (6-4, 275) of Lakeland and Colby Watson (6-5, 320) of Pensacola Pine Forest are big time prospects that are picking up offers from big programs and also like the Gators.

Interestingly enough Florida signed prospects from three of the schools mentioned above in the 2011 class. Miller's teammate Jacoby Brissett is a new Gator as well as Watson's teammate Loucheiz Purifoy, and Goodman's teammate Javares McRoy from Lakeland.

The fact the Gators only signed five offensive linemen in the last two years should set them up well in 2012. In comparison, Florida State signed nine potential offensive linemen in the class of 2011 alone and that will certainly not help them with such a deep and talented class of linemen in 2012.

The list above isn't complete. We haven't even mentioned the interior linemen. The top of that class right now is probably center Ty Darlington (6-3, 275) of Apopka. Darlington is already an Army All-American and has 26 offers. The Gators reluctance to offer only stems from them needing exterior linemen more and limited on the inside. Darlington visited UF a little over a week ago.

Cody Waldrop (6-4, 290) of Seffner Armwood, Duaron Williams (6-4, 294) of Orlando Jones, and James Hamilton (6-3, 325) of Orlando Olympia are three big time linemen that have all started to add offers as well. Waldrop was just in Gainesville a little over a week ago and the other two don't live far away.

The Gators are certainly looking nationally at a few big time prospects on the offensive line as well, but could sign a big time class in Florida alone. For all the teeth gnashing about missing on the numbers on offensive line in the last recruiting class, Florida seems to actually have done the right thing by waiting.


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