Tight end Trent Pupello of Tampa-Jefferson decided Wednesday morning he would join the Orange and Blue flurry. And Head Coach Urban Meyer was all to happy to welcome him onboard.
Pupello is the son of former Gator offensive lineman Joe Pupello who played for the Gators in the late 70's. So, naturally, the family is ecstatic about Trent's commitment and so is Coach Meyer who has made it a point to reach out to Gators young and old this year.
"Yeah, I woke up today and my family and I knew it was time," Pupello said. "I was riding in my car by myself and called Coach Meyer and said I want to be a Gator. He said I made his day, and he was real happy to have me."
The 6-4, 250 pound beast of a tight end was a state witness to the slashing of the Seminoles last Saturday in The Swamp. Pupello saw enough in that game to make him realize just where he wanted to be for the next few years.
"It was amazing," he said. "I had never been to a Florida / Florida State game. That just finished the deal for me. I really like Coach Meyer and the whole coaching staff. It was a good feeling up there. It was a better feeling than I had anywhere else."
"Coach Drayton has been recruiting me and I really do like him a lot. He's a real good guy."
His style of play reminds his Jefferson teammates of an all-star tight end that is currently in the NFL. Pupello has taken to the name and thinks his skills will be utilized in the Florida offense.
"They call me Shockey," he said in reference to New York Giant tight end Jeremy Shockey. "My blocking and catching are my strengths. They want me as a tight end and a little bit of the H-back that Billy Latsko runs. They say they want to use the position more. They think I have good hands and am a good blocker."
It's not just the football side of things. Pupello is especially interested in what the University of Florida has in store for him in the future. He understands just how prestigious it is to have a degree from the University of Florida.
"I hear so many good things about the University of Florida," he said. "I know if you get a degree from there you are doing pretty well in life. My dad went there so I know how good it is."
Finally, with the avalanche of recruits ensuing, Pupello has a teammate the Gators are really interested in signing. Daron Rose is a big time offensive lineman at Jefferson and has Florida and Florida State in his top choices. Pupello plans on helping make it difficult for Rose to say no to the Gators.
"I am definitely trying to get Daron over there for sure," Pupello said. "I haven't talked to him in a bit, but he really likes Florida and Florida State."
Trent Pupello will be coming in on his official visit to Gainesville on the January 21st weekend. He went ahead and made Gators everywhere very happy about the decision to become one of their own. Trent Pupello, welcome to Gator Country!