2017 Gators Board:Offensive Tackles

A team's success always starts in the trenches. We continue our insider series with a look at Florida's tackle targets in the 2017 class. Where do the Gators stand?

An offense is only as good as its offensive line. Florida is targeting a number of tackles in the 2017 class. Earlier today we looked at some of the guards the Gators were looking at, now we take a look at where Jim McElwain and his staff stand with the offensive tackles on the board.  

Florida will definitely have some work to do with in-state five-star Calvin Ashley. The Dr. Phillip High School standout committed to Auburn last May. Ashley, however, continues to see interest from many schools including Florida and Florida State. Scout's No. 1 tackle chose the Tigers over childhood favorite, the Noles. Ashely continues to say in his interviews his heart is with Auburn and he sees himself playing there. (As I said work to do). 

Blake Vinson is a new Clemson pledge, however, don't expect the Florida staff to stop pursuing the four-star tackle. The Citra, Florida native is also being pursued heavily Tennessee. The Gators will have to fight off both the Vols and the Tigers in order to land Vinson, who at one point was considered to be a Tennessee lean. 

Although Alex Leatherwood is committed to Alabama, there is still a long way to go in his recruitment.  The five-star tackle continues to name the Gators high on his list, and his verbal to the Crimson Tide should be considered soft. The Booker T Washington High standout is trying to visit schools like Ole Miss, LSU and Miami. 

Kadeem Telfort committed to Florida last July and has been solid ever since. 

American Heritage three-star tackle Kai-Leon Herbert recently praised Florida and its staff, “Everything about Florida is there, academics and athletics, Herbert said. “I’ve started to talk to Coach Summers and Coach Shannon more and have been building a strong relationship with them. Some of the players they are recruiting I like as well. For the 2017 class they only have one commit on the offensive line."
Herbert's recruitment continues to trend towards the Gators, however, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee and LSU are also in the mix.

Jean Marcellus holds offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, South Carolina, South Florida, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest among others. The Hurricanes were the school to beat, after Marcellus named them his leader when Al Golden was in charge. With Mark Richt at the help in Coral Gables, things are a little more murkier.  Florida has not offered, but is monitoring. 

Tony Gray told Scout he is looking for a "home" feeling in a college program. The four-star tackle holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State and Tennessee among others. But this recruitment is not trending towards the Gainesville. The Central Gwinett standout told Scout's National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons Florida State, Georgia and Clemson are on his mind. It's still early, however. 

Andrew Thomas has a plethora of offers including: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Ole Miss and South Carolina. Thomas can play both guard and tackle in college, and is going to be pursued heavily by all the top programs up to signing day next year. His most recent visit was to Athens. 

Alabama, LSU, North Carolina and West Virginia have all offered Jerry Drake Jr. The Palm Beach Gardens standout most recently picked up offers from the Crimson Tide and the Tigers. Drake is the son of former Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman, Jerry Drake. This is someone Florida fans should keep an eye on. 

Adrian Ealy's list of suitors includes Florida, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas. The Gators, however, have some work to do with the four-star Louisiana native. In-state school, LSU, is the team to beat right now, with both the Rebels and the Vols heavily in the mix. 

He is one of the best in his class and his offer list shows it. D'antne Demery is being pursued by Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and Georgia. The Gators are right in the mix of things when it comes to the Georgia native. Also in the mix: Auburn, Clemson and the Bulldogs (although is main relationship with the in-state school was with the former staff). 

Back in November Isaiah Wilson named his top eight, and good news for the Gators they made the cut. Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan are also on the list. 

Alabama and Tennssee seem to have the inside track when it comes to four-star Trey Smith. The University School of Jackson lineman says he is a fan of both programs. 

Florida will have some issues taking Robert Hainsey away from some of the Big Ten powers. Scout's No. 4 tackle in Florida is high on Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Pittsburgh-the Panthers the only non B1G school on the list.

Toryque Bateman only holds offers from Kentucky, Missouri, Tenenssee, Troy and UAB, however, his stock could rise furing the spring. Florida, Florida State and Notre Dame have all expressed interest in the four-star tackle from Gadsden, Alabama. 


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