Five-Star Alajajian Ready to Rumble

Friday marks the last day of high school for All-American offensive lineman Nick Alajajian. The five-star prospect from Naples was one of the most highly sought after players in the country this year. That he will be enrolling early to compete in the spring is huge. Warning to Gators' opponents, Alajajian has a little chip on his shoulder and is ready to go and get his Gator career started.

He has three exams in school to take Friday and then it is the Holiday break before Nick Alajajian heads to San Antonio and the Army All-American Game. Directly after that, he flies to Gainesville and will be starting classes on January 5. He saw his senior season end a little earlier than he wanted, but now he knows it is business of a different type he needs to prepare for.

"I have to get my exams done and then go get ready to play," Alajajian said Thursday night. "I don't really like being out of football season, but we had a tough loss in the third round. Now I am just back on my school work and trying to get done so I can get to Florida early."

Alajajian understands there will be an adjustment in his first semester on campus. That was part of the allure of showing up early and getting his college career started.

"I want to get settled down in the school atmosphere," he said. "I want to get my classes going and get my schedule right. Then I want to go in that weight room and show them what I have and then hopefully get that starting spot."

Addazio and his parents hosted Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer and Offensive Line Coach Steve Addazio earlier in the week. He said that Addazio has a way of getting him all wired and ready to get things started.

"They came down to dinner and my dad owns a restaurant down here," he said. "We just sat around and ate dinner and talked a little bit.

"Coach Addazio has me real fired up. He has been talking about the opportunity I have to come in early and it will get me that much ahead. I have to digest the play book and get ready for that. I will probably be taking snaps at right tackle in the spring because all the tackles are graduating. It just fires me up because I like the pressure and I want that pressure to try and go in there and start."

Excuse Alajajian if he has a boulder size chip on his shoulder. It seems there are some out there that question his competition when they watch his highlights. He isn't one to shy away from a challenge, that's for sure.

"When it comes to football I am strictly business," he said. "My main thing is getting on the roster and getting in the games. That is where my goal is set. Just get it done. A lot of people think I have small talent down here and I'm not very good. My mentality is to go up there and show what I can do. I am going to go represent Naples High and shoot for a starting position. I have heard a couple of people say that I play in a sorry district and a sorry county, that does nothing to me but fire me up. I just can't wait to go there and just give it all I got. That is what folks will see the most, 100 percent effort from me."

Alajajian missed a great deal of the early season because of a broken ankle suffered in practice. It was killing him at the time and his team seemed to suffer without him in the lineup as well. Part of what Alajajian brings to the table is his intensity and the ability to get others to raise their own.

"In pre-season camp I broke my ankle, but it's alright now," he said. "Getting hurt my senior year was killing me because I'm not out there with all my boys. I am kind of the vocal leader out there. One game I came back and we were losing and I just got cleared the day before. As soon as I went in everyone's intensity just rose and we went down the field and scored. I just missed being out there with all my boys."

There is no hesitation in Alajajian coming to Gainesville and knowing he can get things going quickly. He feels comfortable in knowing he is a quick learner and with a great deal of effort, he can become a quick force on the Florida offensive line.

"I'm going to go up there and learn the play book," he said. "Here at Naples we run the Veer and the Option, Mid-line, and all that stuff. We ran the spread in one game. I have kind of seen it all, but it's going to be a big experience to learn the Gators' offense."

It's an experience we will all be able to pay close attention to this spring.

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