With just seven returning offensive linemen and basically no starters returning, the Florida Gators will be playing a lot of young players up front. They made recruiting linemen a huge priority in the last recruiting cycle and were able to finish off the recruitment of Martez Ivey and get him in the class.
Now, the expectations are through the roof among Gator fans, but the Florida staff hasn’t been pushing those expectations on him. He was on campus Saturday for the Orange and Blue Debut and it was very apparent for him and everyone else that watched that the group needs a lot of help.
“They haven’t told me much right now,” Ivey said after the scrimmage about their expectations. “You can see for yourself there is need for improvement on the o-line. My plan is to come in and work hard.
Ivey was rated the top offensive lineman for most of the last year and a half of his high school career. Big on technique, if there was a drawback it was his size. He started his senior year at 270 pounds but has been busy on the training table to change that.
“I’m just staying in the weight room,” he said. “I’ve gained some weight and am up to 295 right now.”
Ivey says his next big thing is to train and condition himself for for his arrival on campus which will mean he probably drops a few pounds.
“I will probably drop down to 285 with conditioning,” he said before talking about a final weight destination during his college career. “Whatever they want me at. If I am still mobile at 315 or 320, I want to be there.”
Ivey has had no grand illusions of walking into Florida and automatically lining up as a starter. He knows there is a lot of hard work ahead. He is dedicated to making himself as ready as possible.
“It will be a challenge,” he said. “At the end of the day football is a mind game. It is all about your technique. At this stage everyone is big and strong and just as good as you. It is all about perfecting your craft. I look to focus on my technique a lot more than just physical play.”
In the meantime, he is still relishing in his choice of schools. He signed with the program that he always wanted to be a part of.
“I am excited… I grew up being a Gator, Ivey said. “There are opportunities everywhere, but you have to make the most of your opportunities. It’s up to me and how fast I can come in and learn and how I am able to adapt to it.
“The schools I was looking at, there were chances to play early. Florida just stood out because I always liked Florida. It just felt like home and not too far from home. It is just a welcoming environment.”
Back in early February the Gators hit on quite a few of their top targets on signing day. Most would say that Ivey was the biggest of those targets and they are gad to welcome him home.