The Florida Gators recruiting board has several offensive line prospects left, but the Gators are trying hard to add a JUCO lineman this year and that board is very thin so far.
Last week the Gators offered JUCO offensive lineman Garrett Bolles (6-5, 290, Lehi, UT Westlake JUCO) in hopes of adding him to the class for experience purposes next year.
“I called Coach [Kevin] Barbay and that’s when he told me about the offer,” Bolles said. “I was super grateful to get an offer from a program that’s coming up like Florida. He told me that they are young on the offensive line and that they need a mature guy to come in and make an impact for them. Right now we are trying to build a relationship since they just offered me but I’m enjoying talking to them.”
Offensive line coach Mike Summers called Bolles the following day to make sure to stress the need for Bolles in Gainesville next year.
“I talked to Coach Summers a few times as well over the phone since they offered me,” he said. “He told me the same thing that Coach Barbay did about the need for offensive linemen in this class. We were just talking and getting to know each other a little bit. We are just trying to build a friendship and see where it goes.”
Summers is known for his experience coaching offensive linemen and that was something he shared with Bolles on the phone last week.
“I know that he has been at Florida for a few years now,” Bolles said of Summers. “I know he has been in the game for a long time and he has coached a lot of great players in his time. He was talking to me about the guys he has put in the NFL and he was comparing me to some of those guys. He said that he can’t wait to get to know me better.”
JUCO prospects never want to sit the bench when they arrive at a Division I school and that’s something Bolles is looking at and something that has caught his eye with Florida.
“Florida is trending in the right direction with a new coach there,” he said. “They’re winning big games and they’re continuing to go in the right direction, so I’m definitely watching them close. With them needing guys to play from day one is something that definitely has my attention right now. I really didn’t think they were going to come in the game with me but I’m glad they did and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Bolles now holds 25 scholarship offers from Division I schools and he’s now in the process of setting up his five official visits , as he will enroll in school in February.
“I don’t have anyone standing out right now but I’m going to start taking visits and see where things go,” Bolles said. “I’m taking an official to Michigan State this weekend, then I’m going to Oregon and then I’m going to Arkansas after that. I’m going to take my last two officials in January but I haven’t set them up yet. I think Florida will get one of them but I have to get to know them a little better.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Bolles says that despite the Florida Gators recruiting offer coming in late that he still has a lot of interest in Florida. Right now Michigan State and Arkansas are the two teams with the most momentum, but if the Gators can get an official in January then they would be right in the mix. Bolles and JUCO OL Malcolm Pridgeon are the JUCO prospects on the Florida Gators recruiting board at the offensive line position.