Ivey picks Florida

The Gators got important help on the offensive line from the nation's best.

Offensive tackle Martez Ivey announced late Wednesday morning that he signed with Florida. The nation’s top tackle cited his desire to play for the Gators over his relationship with coaches.

“What I thought about was just where I want to be at for the 3-4 years and what I want to do with my life,” Ivey said on the ESPNU broadcast. “It’s not all about football at the end of the day. It’s going to come to an end. It’s where I want to be at. I don’t want to go stay in Alabama. I want to stay here in Florida. I figure I can change lives of people in Florida, and that’s what I want to do. I want to stay in Florida.”

The Apopka High School product grew up a Florida fan and the Gators led throughout the process, but Auburn snuck into the battle and Will Muschamp moving to Auburn was expected to help the Tigers. Apopka fullback Chandler Cox committed to Auburn early in the process and has already enrolled at the school. However, their relationship wasn’t enough to get Ivey to sign.

Florida retaining offensive line coach Mike Summers helped offer familiarity for Ivey, and new head coach Jim McElwain got involved during his two months on the job. Ivey and McElwain got to know each other some on the recruiting trail, but the state’s top player is excited to further that relationship in the future.

“Me and Jim McElwain, I believe I’ve talked to him three or four times,” Ivey said. “Over time, our relationship is going to develop. Anywhere you go, your relationships are not that good with coaches now. In my case, I usually don’t talk to coaches. I’m looking forward to developing my relationship with Coach McElwain.”

Ivey could be counted on to contribute next season since Florida returns only eight scholarship linemen from last season.

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