Thursday was the first day that the Florida Gators staff went out on the road recruiting and it’s no surprise that it was to see offensive linemen.
JUCO OL Branton Autry (6-4, 320, Coffeyville, KS Coffeyville Community College) was one of the first prospects that offensive line coach Mike Summers visited on Thursday.
“Coach Summers came by to see me and to talk to my coach,” Autry said. “I really couldn’t talk to him because of the NCAA rules but I was able to see him and then he was able to talk to my coaches. My coaches were telling me a few things that he said to them.”
Summers made a big impression on Autry’s coach and he made sure to leave a message about how high on the recruiting board Autry was because Autry was the first prospect to get a visit.
“He told my coach that they really want me and that they want me to come down there for a visit,” Autry said. “Coach Summers said that I was the first stop he made this spring because he needs me that bad. He left some packets with my coach for me to look at.”
When Autry learned that he was the first visit that Summers had made this spring he was excited to hear that but it wasn’t a surprise he says.
“It means a lot to me that I was the first one he came to see,” Autry said. “He had told me that they were going to come see me because they need linemen like myself to come in and help them out. That means a lot to me because I want to play early wherever I go next.”
The Florida Gators offered Autry a few months ago and ever since Autry and Summers have been building a good relationship as Summers has laid out the Gators depth issues for him.
“We talk a lot actually,” Autry said. “We talk on the phone when I call him and we talk some on Twitter. He just keeps reminding me that they need me and they only have six offensive lineman on scholarship right now and that I can compete for a job.”
Despite several big offers from the likes of Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina the JUCO linemen is trying to remain open to everyone.
“Right now I’m open to everyone and nobody has the lead or anything,” Autry said. “I’m just taking my recruiting process slow and planning some visits. After I take all of my visits then I’ll know where the best place for me is at.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Florida has clearly been recruiting Autry hard and a visit this summer is likely, which could help Florida out a lot. The Gators do have a leg up in his recruitment due to the fact that Autry wants to play in the SEC.