Offensive lineman Marcus Tatum (6-6, 254, Daytona Beach, FL Mainland) got the opportunity on Wednesday to watch the Florida Gators go through its first day of full pads practice and Tatum walked away impressed.
“The visit was really good, I liked it,” Tatum said. “I got to watch practice and it was the first day of hitting in pads. I got to sit down with coach [Jim] McElwain and coach [Mike] Summers. It was really nice.”
This was Tatum’s second visit to Florida in just over a month but Wednesday was the first time he got to see the coaches on the field instead of in the offices and he liked what he saw from offensive line coach Mike Summers.
“It was really up beat and fast tempo,” Tatum said. “I like all of the competition they had out there during practice. I watched the offensive line a lot. Coach Summers coaching style is different because I’m not used to coaches that don’t yell a lot. He doesn’t cuss much at all and I like that.”
Tatum meet head coach Jim McElwain a month ago so McElwain took his time with Tatum on Tuesday to explain what being a Florida Gators was all about.
“Coach Mac wasn’t really talking about football with me this time,” Tatum said. “He was talking about what the Florida Gators can do for you after football. He was telling me how a degree from Florida can help me after football. I really liked his message a lot. It showed me the opportunities that Florida has to offer.”
McElwain talked about the Gators education but Summers made sure to explain to Tatum how bad Florida need bodies on the offensive line.
“Coach Summers was talking to me more about football today, he was telling us stories about his daughter and stuff like that,” Tatum said. “He kept stressing to me that they need linemen bad because they have walk-ons playing second time right now.”
Now that Tatum has visited Florida twice he’s building a great relationship with the coaching staff but the Gators are battling two other schools at the top right now.
“I like it up there in Florida,” Tatum said. “I like Florida, Miami and Auburn right now but I don’t have a leader. Everything is spread out right now so I’m not sure when I’ll make a decision. I honestly have no idea.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Tatum said he’s trying to get back to Florida for the spring game and after talking to him I feel as if the Gators are in great shape. Tatum seems to want to wait this out until at least the fall so it will be interesting to see who he visits this summer.