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April 18, 2014
Five to Follow: Offensive Line
The 2015 recruiting cycle is in full swing and Florida currently sits with six public commitments. The next big event on the calendar as far as prospects are concerned is the spring evaluation period, which runs mid April through the end of May. This week Inside the Gators will unveil a position-by-position look at the top pre-spring targets in our Five to Follow series.
Up today are the offensive linemen.
After undersigning along the line for three straight recruiting cycles (2010, 2011 and 2012), the Gators have stocked up at the position in the last two classes, signing 11 the last two cycles combined. However, two players have already left the team, while two more are JUCO signees, meaning they won't be around long. So, with that in mind, despite what the numbers may suggest, this is still a big need position for the Florida once again this year.
Here are five top pre-spring prospects to watch at the position.
Inside the Gators' pre-spring top five lists are based on national ranking and of course whether or not Florida is showing interest at this time. One player having an offer this early doesn't necessarily mean he will be a higher priority throughout the process. Therefore it doesn't mean he will be rated higher on our list. What you see here is solely the opinion of the staff of Inside the Gators and does not represent the opinion of the University of Florida or anyone associated with the Gator program.
Abdul Bello | Montverde (Fla.) | 6-foot-5, 298-pounds
What was Said: "I like the coaches because they are good people and good coaches," said Bello of UF. "The players are nice guys too and I like the environment. I don't really have any favorites because I have liked all of the schools I have been to."
Related: Fast rising lineman sees Florida again
Competition: Florida State.
The Skinny: Early on it's looking like a Florida-Florida State battle brewing for this three star big man. Bello has an outstanding frame at 6-foot-5, 298-pounds and is still learning the game of football. Many of the biggest colleges in the nation have offered Bello and many more likely will after they come see him in the spring. Bello has only visited Gainesville and Tallahassee at this time, but is working on getting to Alabama, Auburn, and Tennessee when he can.
Matthew Burrell Jr. | Woodbridge (Va.) C.D. Hylton | 6-foot-4, 286-pounds
What was Said: "I love football in general," Burrell said. "I'm a fan of big hits, loud games down to the wire. I'm a fan of getting in the trenches and fighting. I'm not a fan of anybody, I just love football."
Related: Mid-atlantic recruiting notebook
Competition: Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia Tech.
The Skinny: The Gators are the most recent school to throw their name into the conversation for this Rivals250 big man. Early on Burrell spoke highly of the Gators and has admitted he was hoping for an offer from the Orange and Blue. Expect the Gators to send a coach or two out to see this four-star over the next few weeks.
Watch video highlights of Burrell Jr. by clicking here.
Martez Ivey | Apopka (Fla.) | 6-foot-5, 271-pounds
What was Said: "I don't have a top school or anything like that. I like Florida, they are up there, but I want to see LSU, Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Oklahoma. They are all recruiting me too."
Related: Teammates making visits
Competition: Alabama, Auburn, and Florida State.
The Skinny: Florida has been the heavy favorite here since Ivey burst onto the scene way back when. He's been to Gainesville countless times and has a wonderful relationship with the coaching staff. It doesn't seem like the Rivals100 big man will end his recruiting process anytime soon, but expect the Gators to be thick in the mix when that does happen.
Watch video highlights of Ivey by clicking here.
Tyree St. Louis | Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy | 6-foot-5, 300-pounds
What was Said: "Florida's one of my top schools. Florida is showing me a lot of interest. I know they have a good offensive line coach, they run good schemes, they get offensive lineman into the NFL, they are well known for getting players to the NFL. So, Florida is a big school for me."
Related: RCS Orlando: Underdog takes home top award
Competition: Florida State and Tennessee.
The Skinny: Florida is a school that has come on strong after hosting him on campus this spring. Tennessee was the team with the early edge, but after a recent visit to Gainesville the three-star seems to be more open to other schools. Florida pitched their history of putting players in the NFL over the last few years to St. Louis and highly impressed him.
Watch video highlights of St. Louis by clicking here.
Isaiah Prince | Greenbelt (MD) Eleanor Roosevelt | 6-foot-6, 270-pounds
What was Said: "Right now my top two schools are Maryland and Florida," said Prince. "Ohio State and Auburn are right behind them."
Related: Prince has top two
Competition: Auburn, Maryland, and Ohio State.
The Skinny: Maryland is likely the top school at this time for Prince due to the fact they are close to home and a campus he is familiar with. The Gators have sent coaches by the Rivals250 tackle's school in the past, but haven't had much communication. Florida may be in the conversation now, but they will need to step their game up if they expect to pluck this four-star away from the Terrapins.
Watch video highlights of Prince by clicking here.