RECRUITING: Gators taking interest in Andy Kuempel

The Florida Gators are looking for offensive tackles to even look at this recruiting season. It seems the Gators have strong leans from a few interior linemen, but the offensive tackle position is one that is a mystery right now.

Enter Andy Kuempel. The 6-6, 250 pound offensive tackle prospect is from Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa. The Gators have evidently taken at least a little interest in this player of such great need.

His team started slow at 2-2 and just came off a close loss to a district rival and number 10 team in the state. We asked him how his play was coming along and he said, "I am playing pretty good. I am getting down there, playing physical, and being aggressive with people." It's obvious he is Joe Wickline's kind of lineman. He also plays on both sides of the ball, another plus for the aggressive line play that is preferred at the University of Florida. "I am playing defensive end and offensive tackle."

His list of suitors is pretty strong and growing. "I have gotten phone calls from Kent State, Kansas, Ohio State, Iowa, Miami of Ohio, Florida, and Oregon. I have gotten quite a few phone calls. I have gotten offers from Kansas, K-State, Miami of Ohio, and Ohio State, those are the only one's right now."

What kind of reasons will he use to make his collegiate choice? "Right now I am still in the research process. I will be looking for a place where I can feel at home in football and excel in academics."

Would he be up to moving away from the mid-west and the place he calls home? "Yeah I really would. Location is not going to matter to much for me."

On the schools courting him, he said right off the bat: "Right now, Florida has actually been giving me a lot of attention and calling me on a regular basis. A graduate assistant, Art Link, has been calling me every week and they wanted my tape real quick. I think they are pretty serious, so I think that is a school that would be hard to not at least give a very long hard look."

He also said his favorites, if offered, would be Iowa, Florida, Oregon, Kansas State and Iowa State.

The recruiting process is still early, but some athletes and schools have been setting up their official visits for them to come and get a better look at what that school has to offer. In this case, Kuempel has only set up an official visit with Kansas State. "I have had the same four offers for quite a while now. I sent off my tape from the beginning of the season and we will have to see what happens with that. After I have given every team a chance to see if they are going to offer or not, I will set up officials visits based on that."

Andy Kuempel has one of those wide shoulder frames that offensive line coaches want. He plays aggressive and is quick but not fast. This is one new player that we will have to keep our eyes on in a position that there are not many to talk about.

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