Don’t look now but Head Coach Jim McElwain and the Florida Gators coaching staff are about to be on a level playing field in the world of recruiting and that’s because a lot of 2017 prospects are visiting Gainesville.
The biggest position that Coach McElwain is making up for lost time with is the quarterback position, and the Gators offered two of the best in the country this past week.
2017 quarterback Jake Allen (6-2, 195, Fort Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas) was the latest one of those quarterback to be on campus and he got a private workout with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
“It was amazing and I had so much fun,” Allen said. “I got there and they gave me a little campus tour and I got to take my picture in the jersey, which was cool. After that we went over to the soccer fields and Coach Nuss [Nussmeier] put me through a workout with the whole coaching staff watching. I had to perform and I did pretty well.”
McElwain and Nussmeier have been monitoring Allen closely over the last few months and they saw enough on Wednesday to offer the 2017 signal caller.
“After camp was over I went up to Coach Mac’s office,” Allen said. “He told me that he knows that I’m going to be a Gator and knows that I want to be a Gator and that he knows that I fit really well into their system. Coach Mac said that I fit what they want as a person as well. I had a blast with all of them.”
Allen who in my opinion is a top five quarterback in the country was very excited to get the offer from Florida but he didn’t get caught up in the moment.
“It was huge to get the offer and they are by far my number 1 right now,” he said. “Everyone was asking why I didn’t commit but I think I owe to myself to go see Stanford, Notre Dame and Michigan with an open mind so that’s what I’m going to do. After I do that then I’m going to make my decision.”
Former Gators quarterback Eric Kresser is Allen’s personal quarterback coach and that made getting the Florida offer even more special to him.
“It was a dream offer 100 percent,” Allen said. “My quarterback coach Eric Kresser was so happy when I told him. He said that he was proud of me and that all of the hard work that we’ve put in has finally paid off. He has always told me “Jake you’re going to be an SEC quarterback,” but I never really believed him.”
After working with Nussmeier last week, Allen said that he was as comfortable working with him as he is with Kresser and that was something he was looking to see.
“It was awesome because he’s such a cool down to earth guy,” he said of working with Nussmeier. “He’s like a father figure that I can myself being able to work with because we mesh real well. I’m comfortable around which is the most important thing to me.”
One thing that Florida fans will be glad to hear is that Allen has a lot of confidence in what McElwain is saying plus what McElwain knows as a coach.
“I believe in Coach McElwain 100 percent,” he said. “Everywhere he has been at he has been a winner. I think he’s an awesome coach and I love being with him and his whole coaching staff. It’s a warm family style feeling around there. I really loved every bit of my visit with all of them.”
In the day and age where recruits like to drag out their process, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear that Allen will make his decision as soon as he knows the right school. A lot of that has to do with reasons he has already established.
“I’m looking at trying to make a decision this summer after my trips,” Allen said. “I would like to be the leader of the class and help recruit but also if I know I already like the school then I might as well go ahead and commit to the school. The biggest thing though is that I need to recruit because I need guys around me to help elevate my game, plus I want to be able to help elevate their game.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Allen truly loves Florida and it would take a lot for him not to be a Gator at the end of the summer. Allen also says that he will be back at Florida for Friday Night Lights in July which could be a big step for the Gators to seal deal with Allen then.