Thurman Gets Mom's Approval During Visit

Trip Thurman's voyage to Friday Night Lights wasn't for himself. The 6-6, 310-pound offensive tackle already knew he wanted to be a Florida Gator. This trip to Gainesville this weekend was for his mother.

As any mother would be, Trip Thurman's was a little concerned. Her son leaving their Dover, Delaware, home to play college football in Gainesville will be tough for her to deal with.

Thurman knew he wanted to be a Gator since attending camp in June and working with offensive line coach Steve Addazio. This trip was about convincing the rest of his family that it was the right decision.

"This trip was about my mom," Thurman said. "I wanted her to be comfortable with the distance from home. She was happy and I already loved it, so I decided to commit to Florida because of that."

The commitment came Friday in head coach Urban Meyer's office, before the camp started. The Thurman family packed into the office for a meeting and was joined by Coach Addazio and Coach Heater.

Thurman shared his intentions to verbally commit to the Gators. The three coaches immediately stood, offering handshakes for Thurman and hugs for his mother.

"It's Trip's decision," Mrs. Thurman said. "When I saw how he was comfortable in the environment, it made me feel better about it. It's a big step, but I'm very pleased to see him come here. The coaches just said they would take care of him. That's the main thing, and it's all I've asked for."

Thurman came to Gainesville on Thursday to spend some extra time with the Florida coaching staff. His family was able to see the facilities, the campus and everything Trip will experience when he comes to campus.

At some point, Thurman's father slipped away. He snuck to the Florida Book Store, where he purchased Gator gear for the entire family in attendance. After all, they didn't want to spend their time in The Swamp without showing off their son's decision.

Coach Addazio couldn't have been happier. Thurman joined Connecticut offensive lineman Tommy Jordan as offensive linemen committed, and the pressure they have been put under will now be relieved.

"He's a great coach," Thurman said of Addazio. "He really pushed me at camp in a short period of time and got the potential out of me that he was waiting to see."

The June camp session is when Thurman realized what a special opportunity he was given. The Delaware resident came to Florida, admittedly nervous to square off against speed rushers from the south. He held his own and proved to the Florida staff that he was capable of playing at the SEC level.

"Being from Delaware, you don't really get much competition," Thurman said. "Coming down at camp, I think I proved myself. I was a little nervous at first though. Once I got down here and got a feel for everything, it was just natural."

The feeling of home on the University of Florida campus came natural as well. Thurman's only goal was to make his mother experience the same feeling that caused him to fall in love with the area. Mission accomplished by the Florida staff.

"The hospitality we got was great," Thurman said. "Everyone wanted to meet her and make her feel like a part of the family."
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