Questions Answered

Matt Patchan's dream is to play on both sides of the football in college. During his visit to Gainesville this week, he hoped to have that question and many others answered.

He is one of the top offensive lineman prospects in the country. At 6-7, 265-pounds and a sub-5.0 40-yard dash, Matt Patchan is drawing lots of attention. He made the two-hour drive from Tampa to Gainesville on Wednesday and had a full schedule, ending with a breakfast meeting with head coach Urban Meyer on Friday morning. After that, it was back on the road for a weekend trip to Florida State.

"I've had a great time so far," Patchan said on Thursday night. "I've been getting all my questions answered. I've enjoyed my time here, and it's been a positive experience."

Patchan came with one big question for the Gator coaching staff, and he received the answer he was looking for.

"My biggest question was if they were serious about letting me go after my dream of playing both ways," Patchan said. "They told me they would give me that opportunity. That was a big thing for me, and I'm glad that they are willing to give me that opportunity."

Patchan also had questions about rumors he has heard of an intense weightlifting program at UF.

"One question I had was what were the strength and conditioning days," Patchan said. "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday was something that we had heard all year long. That was something I was very interested in knowing, but I came and found out that it's not the case. That's just for a two week period."

Patchan has been to Gainesville 4-5 times before this trip, so he talked about what separated this trip from prior trips.

"This one, I really got a chance to visit the campus and see where I would be living," he said. "The other visits were just for games. This visit, I really got a chance to collect all of the information that pertained to me. It was great."

Another topic discussed was how exactly Patchan would fit in with the Gators.

"We went over that big time," he said. "They said that I'm a pretty good player. They said I can come in and get a chance to play early with the tackle situation. They say I have a lot of potential and if things keep working out, then I can become something pretty special for them."

Even though Patchan was still meeting Meyer on Friday for breakfast, the two talked a lot during the first two days of his visit. He also spoke with most of the other coaches as well as players.

"I had a conversation with coach [Steve] Addazio, coach [Greg] Mattison, coach [John] Hevesy, coach [Stan] Drayton," he said. "I got to meet the president. We talked to the AD. We talked with a bunch of people, including coach [Mickey] Marotti the strength coach. We saw the campus and the dorms, and the training table, the weight room and the expansion plans. We did a lot of things. It was a very productive visit."

But the biggest impression came from coach Meyer.

"I was impressed with coach Meyer's vision for the future of this program," Patchan said. "He's not going to just settle for one national championship. He's going to go after a bunch more. He knows the only way you get that is by recruiting the best players on the planet. He knows that, and he's going after all the right people. It was really impressive when I heard him say that."

After a weekend visit to Florida State, Patchan is heading to Georgia next Wednesday followed by trips to Auburn and Miami. He's already been to LSU and Ole Miss. He's uncertain about his next trip to Gainesville.

"I'll have to check my schedule to see if I can make it for Friday Night Lights," he said. "It sounds like it would be a fun deal. I'm just not sure right now."

Patchan will be a December graduate and said he doesn't plan to announce a decision until then.

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