I feel like there should be a sign posted saying “offensive linemen wanted” when you enter the University of Florida. The Gators only have six scholarship linemen on campus currently.
That sign isn’t hanging but the Gators coaching staff is out hunting for linemen for the class of 2016 and last week the team offered offensive lineman Patrick Kearns (6-5, 273, Rome, GA Darlington) a scholarship when they were at his school, he says.
“Coach [Greg] Nord was the one who offered me last week,” Kearns said. “I talked with him and coach [Mike] Summers but coach Nord actually offered. They said that I would fit in well with what they’re doing down there in Gainesville.”
Kearns has just recently seen his recruitment start to heat up as coaches are visiting his school but the Florida Gators’ offer was one that surprised him.
“The offer from Florida really blew me away,” Kearns said. “I never thought I would get an SEC offer and Florida is a program that is on the rise big time so it makes it a special one. I’m very interested in Florida now that they have offered me.”
Due to the fact that Summers and Nord have been constantly on the move this month, the two parties didn’t get to talk much. However, Kearns realizes the big opportunity that Florida provides for linemen right now.
“We didn’t get a chance to talk football specifics because they were about to catch a flight,” Kearns said. “I hope to talk with him soon to hear what they think about me but they did tell me that they are in need of linemen real bad at Florida. I know that I can come in and compete early there.”
Despite the short talk with Summers, the Georgia lineman still walked away impressed by the Gators offensive line coach.
“I was very impressed with coach Summers on the phone by what he was telling me,” Kearns said. “He spoke very well and has a great track record of developing offensive lineman and I know he has had a bunch of players drafted in the past.”
Kearns and his family have talked about Florida and are doing their research on the program. They are trying to plan a visit to Gainesville to see everything for themselves.
“We are going to visit sometime soon when school ends for me,” Kearns said. “I have no leaders right now because I want to see everything before I make decision and Florida is one of those that I want to see and meet all of the coaches. My family and I are very excited to visit Florida.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Florida and Ole Miss have both been evaluating Kearns this spring and the Gators were the first team of the two to offer. Kearns and his family are looking for a good academic school and the Gators can sure offer that.