RECRUITING: Antwine Says UF Visit an "11"

If he had to rate his visit to the University of Florida on a 1-10 scale, Brandon Antwine of Garland, Texas would probably give the Gators an 11. The four-star defensive tackle loved everything about his visit to Gainesville, but what made it special for this lifelong Gator fan was being a part of a crowd of 90,104 to watch Florida's defense turn in a hard-hitting, six-sack performance against Mississippi State.

(Brandon Antwine profile)

This is a visit that was probably as close to perfect as it gets. Starting with his arrival in Florida Friday afternoon to the conclusion, every aspect of his official visit to the UF campus went very well. Even his skeptical mother was won over by Florida's coaches, academic advisors and the general atmosphere.

"I would rate the visit a 10, an 11 if I could," Antwine said. "My mom loved it. She told me she has never gone anywhere and been treated so well. She was very happy with the thought that she could trust the coaches there to take care of me. The distance won't be much of a factor now, she talked to some parents from Texas players and they got real deals on plane flights that make it very affordable to attend."

When caught up with Antwine, he was just returning home from his visit. He was ready to hit the sack, his head was swimming with orange and blue thoughts from the outstanding weekend.

"I just got home I am ready to get to bed and get some sleep," Antwine said. "I showed up Friday around 3 p.m. We landed in Orlando and had Chris Leak's older brother pick us up and drive us to Gainesville. When we got there we met with some players and then went and saw the academics.

"After all of that my tour guide David Nelson showed me around campus and then we went to Gator Growl. That was another experience, it wasn't even a game and over 40,000 people were there, it was awesome."

Saturday was homecoming and a 12:30 p.m. kickoff. Antwine was still tired from the whirlwind of events but his adrenaline started racing when he saw the hard hitting aggressive defense of the Gators in front of a raucous crowd. He especially liked the play of the defensive line and the guy that coaches them up.

"I got to sleep in a little bit on Saturday," he said. "I loved that style of defense because I like to play that aggressive style. Coach (Greg) Mattison is an awesome coach. No offense to any other defensive coaches, but I think he is the best defensive line coach in America. He is not a selfish coach. He is a player's coach and I like that."

Antwine and his mother also appreciated the no holds barred approach of Gator Coach Urban Meyer. He sees the man as honest as they come.

"Coach Meyer is awesome … you can see he is doing with this team here what he did with Utah," he said. "He is also a player's coach and will never tell you something he doesn't mean and he will never lie to you."

Texas native David Nelson was his host for the weekend. He also was taken under the wing of a fellow defensive lineman, Gator tackle Marcus Thomas, for Saturday night's victory celebration.

"David is a cool guy and kind of laid back at times," said Antwine. "He pretty much answered all my questions. Marcus Thomas showed me around a little bit after the game. He is really cool and a big fella. I loved Gainesville, it is a great town."

Last week, Antwine confirmed to Gator Country his visit to Florida and upcoming visits to Tennessee and Southern Cal. At that time, Oklahoma was believed to be one of the schools he was looking at.

"What I told you last week is correct," he said. "I'm just not feeling Oklahoma, and I have my visits set with Tennessee and USC. I will also visit Wisconsin and Kansas State after my season. I will make my final decision in January some time."

Brandon Antwine is being recruited as the lone quick defensive tackle for the Florida Gators this 2006 recruiting season. If first impressions are the best, then Florida should be in pretty good shape for this hard hitting defensive lineman.

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