Head coach Jim McElwain hosted two official visitors this past weekend and one of them was Oklahoma State JUCO offensive lineman Brandon Pertile (6-6, 300, Mesa, AZ Mesa C.C) who has a big decision ahead of him this coming week as the Gators are now strongly in the mix for his signature.
“It was great, it was a good time,” Pertile said. “I had some great conversations with the all of the coaches and I told them that I was going to make a final decision on Wednesday since it was signing day. I told them that it was between Florida and Oklahoma State.”
McElwain has been on the recruiting trail all week telling players about his plan at Florida and he made sure to tell Pertile that plan this weekend while he was in town.
“Coach McElwain is really excited about getting things going at Florida and getting things turned around there,” Pertile said. “He said that he was going to get Florida back to being the top dog again. I was loving it when he was telling me that and I believed what he was saying.”
During the visit McElwain also explained to Pertile that there was a huge need for linemen at Florida and that he sees him getting playing time at one of the tackle positions.
“Coach said that he wants me to come in and play left tackle,” Pertile said. “I told him that I didn’t care where I played but I just wanted to get on the field. If I end up signing with Florida it’s going to be exciting to get to work with Coach McElwain and coach [Mike] Summers.”
Pertile has done his homework on Summers and this weekend McElwain let the lineman in on a secret about Summers’ job security.
“Coach Summers is a great guy with a lot of experience,” Pertile said. “Coach McElwain told me that he was going to keep Coach Summers on at Florida. Coach Summers said that he loves Florida and he didn’t want to go anywhere else.”
That was great news for Pertile as he had the chance to sit down and talk with Summers on Saturday afternoon.
“Coach Summers said that he wants to sign 5-6 offensive linemen this year,” Pertile said. “He said he needs some big boys to come in and help with the guys that are already at Florida. He said that he’s excited about the guys he already has but he needs to add more to them.”
Pertile is coming off a knee injury that required surgery this past fall but the good news is that he should be back in a few months.
“I have three years to play three seasons because I had to redshirt this past season,” Pertile said. “I’m expecting to get back on the field either the end of February or the beginning of March. I’m expecting to go through spring ball with the team I sign with.”
INSIDERS TAKE: I believe that Florida ultimately lands Pertile because of the distance from his parents who still live in Clearwater, Florida. Pertile is also close with Florida defensive tackle Joey Ivie IV and that was also his host this past weekend. Pertile adds instant depth to the Gators offensive line.