RECRUITING: Yandell Is A Good Fit At OT

Clyde Yandell spent last season terrorizing opposing quarterbacks during Ponte Vedra Beach Nease's run to the state 4A championship. He's made the move to offensive tackle this year and although the position is new to him, this 6-6, 310-pounder is drawing plenty of attention from top Division I football programs.

(See Clyde Yandell profile)

Yandell (rhymes with handle) was on hand last week at the University of Florida's lineman camp. Though he was in camp for only one day, he showed that he's definitely an upper level prospect and his hard work drew plenty of looks from the Florida coaching staff.

His long arms, big body, and the aggressiveness he learned on defense make him a prototypical offensive tackle at the next level. He has good footwork and he runs very well. Even though he has a lot to learn, he picks things up quickly. At Florida he appreciated even the limited opportunity to work with the Gators' offensive line coaches.

"That first session was the only time I could make it," Yandell said. "I would have liked to have had a little more time with the coaches but I liked the few minutes we had on the field getting a few reps."

The staff knew he had to leave early so they made a demo out of him in front of the other 140 offensive linemen in camp. He was called out front to demonstrate a cadence and stance. He performed admirably under the instant pressure.

"I didn't know what they wanted to do, but they wanted me to do it their way," he said. "I just tried. I think they just pulled me out because they knew I was leaving."

The Florida coaches with just a brief amount of face time really learned some of what Yandell was made of. They thought he performed well and are definitely keeping their eyes open for him.

"Coach (John) Hevesy seemed to really like my fit inside with my hands," Yandell said. "He liked how I kept a good base and kept my feet running. Coach (Steve) Addazio just wanted to see how I ran my feet and finished driving. In pass pro, they mentioned that I improved within the four reps I did and that I was a coachable guy. They think I have some potential and said it was definitely worth it that I took the trip for one session."

Florida just got into the recruiting mix for Yandell because he just made the switch to offense this spring. The Gators will be keeping a close watch on him since his teammate is James Wilson, one of the top offensive linemen in the country and a coveted UF recruit.

"They just basically started recruiting me," he said of the Gators. "Coach Hevesy took notice of me at an Athens combine. The line coaches came and got a look at me during the spring. Since then I met Coach (Urban) Meyer and he knows me. It has been progressing and I got to show up (at camp) and show them I am interested."

Despite playing defense his entire career, his list of offers to play offensive tackle at the next level is growing and there are some very impressive schools letting him know there's a place for him in their signing class.

"I have offers from Virginia Tech, Louisville, Nebraska. Duke, FIU, Houston, Marshall, East Carolina, Western Michigan, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Middle Tennessee State, and there might be a couple of others," he said.

At this time he is wide open looking at schools and will spend the summer visiting a few other high profile programs.

"I am just starting to check out the places that are possibly offering me," he said. "I will be going to Michigan and Notre Dame and also a camp at Wake Forest."

Clyde Yandell promises to be one of the up and coming stars of the recruiting season. Now that he's gotten a closer look at what the University of Florida has to offer, he will be one the both the Gators and Gator Country will keep a close eye on during the fall.

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