Head coach Jim McElwain and the Florida Gators are building a nice class on the offensive side of the ball in the class of 2016, but they are still looking for a tight end to add to the mix.
One of the Gators top targets, tight end Nick Eubanks (6-6, 208, Plantation, FL American Heritage) picked up an offer from Florida in July and last week he named a top five consisting of Florida, USC, Alabama, Oregon and LSU
“Those are the schools that I’m close to and that contact me the most,” Eubanks said on why those teams made his top five. “I believe that I can fit into those programs and play there.”
Despite naming a top five list of schools, the South Florida tight end says that he only knows of four official visits and only one of them has a date right now.
“I only have four officials set right now, I need to find my last one,” he said of visits. “I’m going to take officials to Alabama, Oregon, Florida and USC for sure. I have already planned my Oregon trip out but the rest of them I haven’t set. I plan to take them during the season if I can.”
Eubanks didn’t want to single out any school recruiting him harder than another, but he did say that the Florida Gators are recruiting him hard right now and several coaches from Florida are talking to him.
“Florida has been recruiting me pretty hard as of late. That was an offer that I was waiting for and it finally came,” Eubanks said. “I talk to Coach [Drew] Hughes, Coach [Jim] McElwain, the tight ends coach [Greg Nord] and then some of the other coaches send me messages from time to time.”
McElwain loves using his tight ends in his offense and that’s the message that he’s sending to Eubanks.
“He’s just saying that I will fit well into the program,” he said of McElwain’s message to him. “He said that they need me and he’s always telling me about the scheme and the offense that they run. He said that I would be a good fit in the offense.”
One thing that McElwain is also telling Eubanks is that there is a need for a player of his talent at Florida and early playing is also available for him in Gainesville.
“Coach McElwain was telling me about the tight ends he has coached and he said that the tight end they have now at Florida is going to be leaving so they are going to be running low at the position,” he said. “He said that he sees me like the tight ends he has coached in the past. He told me that they can turn me into a hybrid receiver or have me on the line too.”
The common theme among recruits is that they love talking to McElwain and that’s the same message that Eubanks had about the Florida Gators head coach.
“He’s very cool dude and he’s getting closer and closer to me,” Eubanks said. “He doesn’t always talk to me about football, he also talks to me about life and just socializes with me on other things. He’s cool dude.”
Eubanks’ brother plays basketball for the University of Alabama but the younger Eubanks says that he has nobody standing out for him right now.
“I don’t have leader right now at all, Eubanks said. “I still plan to make my decision either in January or on signing day. I’m not sure right now.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Eubanks is a perfect fit into McElwain’s and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier’s offense because he can line up as in-line tight end or as a flexed out tight end.