The Gators signed three players from American Heritage in the 2017 class and want to continue to recruit the school in a big way with all the talent they have. Andrew Chatfield is one of the latest crop of talented prospects and the 6-foot-3, 225 pound hybrid defensive end/ linebacker showed up Saturday with several other 2018 prospects to take a look around at the Florida program and campus.
“It was a fun time… I had a great time over there,” Chatfield said late Saturday after spending the day in Gainesville. “As soon as I walked on campus it felt like home. It just felt better and was just fun. I had a great time and juts loved the campus.
With three guys signed from American Heritage to letters-of-intent earlier this month, they have been on Chatfield to come visit Florida and see what it was like for himself.
“I was wondering why all these Heritage boys like Florida until I visited, now I know why they like Florida,” he said. “The coaches are going to keep it real with you all the way. You have to compete to get on that field and I love to compete. It’s just a great environment. Everybody is just up with juice. Everybody is just hype… I love the energy.
“James Houston has been after us to get up there with him. So we got up there with him and were having a great time hanging out and catching back up. Marco (Wilson) is like the main dude. He’s been telling me for a long time about Florida. He was like ‘bro, I’m telling you, you’re going to love it. It’s perfect’. I was like, ‘I don’t think Florida is like that’. So I visited and was like ‘hey Marco, you were right. This was live, I liked it a lot’.”
The Gators seem to like Chatfield in a dual role that involves playing linebacker and also as a pass rusher.
“They were mostly talking to me about playing a hybrid defensive end and linebacker,” he said of the Florida coaching staff. “I think they want to keep me a little bit more at outside linebacker with some rushing.
“They like how I get off the edge. They like how I am quick, explosive and can use my hands. I know how to duck my shoulder and I have good technique. They like that I can go to outside linebacker too.
“I was talking mostly to Coach Rumph. Me and Coach Rumph had a good talk Saturday. He’s a real cool person… outgoing. He’s going to tell you the truth and how it’s going to go. That is the one thing I really like about him.”
Chatfield said he watched Florida’s defense last year when they went on the road and shocked the world at LSU, shutting down running back and future first round draft choice Leonard Fournette along the way.
“I watched it a little bit,” he said of the gators’ defense in 2016. “I watched how they shut down Leonard Fournette, I was really impressed… I liked that. I will be checking them out later.
With 18 offers under his belt, he is still waiting on one from Florida, but he knows what the schools like in him and says his door is still wide open in the recruiting process.
“I ‘m quick with my hands and quick with my feet,” he said. “It’s really hard for big dudes to stay with me. I can cover and am a big hitter. I know how to make plays.
“Every school is wide open with me. Whatever new school wants to offer me anything, I am always open. I am always checking everything out. “
Florida didn’t sign a true pass rusher in the 2017 class, so they will certainly keep tabs on Chatfield as we move forward. We’ll be there to cover his recruitment.