The Florida Gators hosted several prospects on campus over the weekend but maybe the most important visitor was an official visitor for the class of 2016.
That’s right, a class of 2016 visitor. Defensive tackle Josiah Coatney (6-5, 285, Goodman, MS Holmes JUCO) found out late in the process that he would be able to enroll this coming summer, so he’s just now taking official visits.
This weekend was his official visit to Gainesville and Coatney got the chance to meet Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain.
“The visit was good, I got to talk to Coach Mac and the staff,” Coatney said of his Florida official visit. “It was a great time and the players respect the coaching staff. I liked it a lot.”
McElwain didn’t mince words with Coatney about needing a defensive tackle, being as the Gators didn’t sign one in February.
“He told me that he needs me there and that they’re trying to do something special there but that they’re a few pieces away from that,” he said of McElwain’s message. “He said that they were like that last season as well but that they’re looking for good guys. He’s real down to Earth and I like that. I liked him.”
Florida Gators defensive line coach Chris Rumph also expressed a big need for Coatney and explained where he could fit into the Gators defense.
“I talked to Coach Rumph a lot, he said that they need me because they have CeCe [Jefferson] playing inside but they want him to play outside,” Coatney said of Rumph’s message. “He said that they need someone who can step in and play inside next year. He said that he was going to coach me hard but love me off the field. He wants to make me better and help me make me plays.”
One of the biggest keys for any JUCO is early playing time and that’s something Coatney notices in Gainesville and is looking hard at.
“It’s very important to me to know that I can come in and play early at Florida,” he said. “I see a lot of potential to play there and play soon. I see where I can fit in at and I saw everything that I needed to see from Florida. I know I have the chance to play early there.”
Florida has a little built in edge as Coatney’s former teammate, Dre Massey, is already in Gainesville and the two spent a lot of time together this weekend.
“I spent a lot of time with Dre, he told me to come be a Gator,” Coatney said. “He said that they’re going to win at Florida and he wants me to be a part of it there. I’m glad to see him make plays there.”
Next for Coatney is a trip to see another SEC school and then he will make a decision in the coming weeks.
“I’m going to Alabama now, I’m heading there now,” he said. “This is my last visit because I’ve already went to Ole Miss, South Carolina and Florida. I plan to make my decision during the first week of May. I’m going to make the best decision for me.”