Florida enters the race for a Tampa tight end

The Gators have spent the majority of the spring evaluation period out of state but last week the coaches narrowed their travel area down some and started recruiting the state of Florida as high school practice is now underway.

Tight ends coach Derek Lewis took the quick three-hour drive down to Tampa last Friday where he visited with tight end Auden Tate (6-4, 199, Tampa, FL Wharton) and gave him good news following his practice.

“Coach [Derek] Lewis came by practice on Friday and afterwards he offered me a scholarship to Florida,” Tate said. “He told my coach after practice that he was offering me and told me to call him after practice. When I called him he was telling me all the stuff about the offer and about Florida. Coach Lewis said he wants me to play inside at tight end and outside depending on how much weight I gain. He called it the H-Back position.”

Tate is good friends with sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves as the two attended Wharton High School together and Hargreaves has told Tate a lot about Florida.

“The offer means a lot because I liked the atmosphere when I went up there for the spring game,” Tate said. “I’ve been talking to Vernon [Hargreaves] and he says it’s a good place to be at. Vernon always says that Florida gets you ready for the next level and ultimately that’s my goal.”

When Tate visited Gainesville this spring he was impressed by what he saw out of the Gators offense, including the position he would play at for Florida.

“I liked the spread offense because they threw the ball a lot more than I expected,” Tate said. “After watching last year’s offense I wasn’t sure what to expect but it looked impressive at the spring game. They get a lot of mismatches for the tight end by getting them matched up against the slower linebackers.”

For Tate, it seems like he’s waited forever to receive this offer from Florida, but he says it’s not too late for the Gators. However, this summer is key in his recruitment.

“I haven’t really taken any visits besides Florida State so it’s not really too late for Florida to get in the mix,” Tate said. “I don’t have any leaders yet until after I take some visits this summer. I want to get to Clemson, Ohio State, Miami, South Carolina, Michigan and Florida. I would like to make a decision this summer after those visits.”

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.