OL recruiting at critical mass for Gators

There was another big hit for the offensive line board for the Florida Gators on Friday night. Brooksville Nature Coast offensive tackle Christian Pellage decided he was going to stick with his commitment to South Carolina after giving the Gators considerable thought since the coaching change in early December.

The loss of Pellage on Friday was coupled with the loss of lineman Steven Clark on Thursday. The center prospect decided to stick with his Syracuse commitment instead of playing in the SEC and with the Gators.

Jim McElwain and his staff have done a wonderful job of adding names to the offensive line board to recruit since December, but a miss here and there has caused that board to shrink to the point where they need to land at least a few of the number left.

The main issue is a shortage on the roster at the position. Eight total offensive linemen return in 2015 from the squad a year ago and of the eight, only senior Trip Thurman is an upperclassman. There is likely not a worst shortage of linemen at any FBS school in the country and the worst at Florida that I can find records for.

The Gators do have three commitments on the line now in Tyler Jordan, Brandon Sandifer, and Mike Horton. Jordan and Sandifer are solid commitments that have a chance to really get an early look next year. Horton is the same type of player, but he happens to be touring other campuses in these last two weekends and who knows what can happen to his commitment.

That leaves a final board of about six prospects that we know of.

Front and off-center is offensive tackle Martez Ivey of Apopka. The nation’s number one tackle according to Scout, Ivey would help mend a lot of wounds in this recruiting class. He is expected to go until signing day with his decision and most everyone is picking the Gators for Ivey, but he has to be considered the most important single prospect in the class and maybe the most likely to be able to start as a true freshman of all the possibilities.


The next highest rated lineman on the board is guard Quarvez Boulware. The 4-star from Washington DC Friendly Academy is currently on campus on his official visit. Rumors had him committed to Maryland a couple of weeks ago, but he has denied all of those rumors. Again, Florida can absolutely show playing time right now. He is also being hosted by former high school teammate Jalen Tabor who can vouch for early playing time at Florida.

Two more tackles are currently visiting Florida right now. Tyree St. Louis is currently committed to Miami and Fredrick Johnson is favoring the Hurricanes.

St. Louis is an Under Armour All-American from Bradenton IMG Academy and a heck of a player. The staff will have to convince him and his parents who seem to want him to stick with the plan at Miami.

Johnson is a massive 6-foot-8 tackle that was offered by the gators in December and has been a primary target for Florida. It would seem to be an easier get since he is not committed anywhere.

Guard Nick Buchanan is from Dunwoody (Ga.) and a Cal commit. The 6-foot-4, 285 pounder just got a host of offers from SEC schools and picked Florida for his final visit weekend. The Gators are looking to show him a great time with Antonio Riles as his host this weekend.

Finally, the last of the prospects we know about on the board is Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas two-way lineman Richerd Desir-Jones. Desir-Jones doesn’t have an offer at the moment, but we believe that offer will come once he passes the eyeball test from all of the staff this weekend. He’s currently an FIU commitment and plays big boy football with Aquinas.

These are the six prospects that we know of to fill at least three spots. The most likely at this point seems to be Ivey, which is a great thing, but are there any of the others that are likely? That is a good question. These next five days are going to be huge for the future of the offensive line at Florida.

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