Sunday night was the first night for the Florida Gators coaching staff to hit the road recruiting and linebackers coach Randy Shannon made a trip out to Texas to visit several prospects.
One of the first prospects Shannon visited was Vanderbilt offensive line commit Braden Kopp (6-6, 280, Houston, TX Houston Christian) and it was a good visit according to Kopp.
“Coach Shannon visited me on Sunday night,” Kopp said. “It was good, he stopped by for about an hour and a half, he got to meet my mom and we just talked. We just kind of just talked about my official visits and just the way things are going. It was a good in-home visit and my first one.”
Kopp, who doesn’t have a Florida Gators offer yet, said that it was a special feeling knowing that Shannon made him a priority to visit.
“It means a lot for Coach Shannon to come by,” he said. “Coach Shannon has recruited me hard and he’s a great coach and a really good person. I can tell that he knows what he’s talking about it has been good talking to him and building a relationship with him.”
Last month Kopp made a trip out to see the Florida Gators play Vanderbilt and ever since then the talks between Florida and Kopp have been constant and good.
“I have been talking to Coach Shannon every week and I’ve been talking to Coach [Mike] Summers too,” Kopp said. “Coach Summers says that Florida is really interested in me and that I’m high on the board. We’re picking an official visit date now and then we will talk more on my official visit.”
The message from Summers has been that they need offensive linemen but Summers also sees Kopp as a versatile player that can play multiple positions.
“Coach Summers just says that I’m 280 and that I’m athletic and he believes that I can play multiple positions on the line because of that,” he said. “I play right tackle now but I can play guard or center. I can also play both tackle positions so I can play inside or outside.”
Kopp remains committed to Vanderbilt but says that three other schools are in the mix for an official visit.
“Florida, Vanderbilt, Duke and California are all recruiting me pretty hard,” Kopp said. “I would say that’s probably my top four schools right now and those are probably going to be my official visits as well.”
INSIDERS TAKE: If an offer is extended to Kopp then I think the Florida Gators will be a tough team to beat here. Florida wants to add two more offensive linemen to this class so Kopp could be one of those guys.