Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain talked about how big of a Saturday it was for the Gators to host so many prospects on campus at his Monday press conference. McElwain said the Gators even added in some stuff at practice for prospects to see and that included athlete Amari Burney (6-1, 215, Clearwater, FL. Calvary Christian) who got to see some of the new coaches for the first time.
“It went great, it was a different experience from the last few times I’ve been there,” Burney said of Saturday’s visit. “Finally getting to a practice, I had never been to one before. Just getting the chance to see the coaches coaching practice and see how they coach their position.”
One of the things that McElwain added in was individual drills and that allowed Burney to really focus on new defensive backs coach Corey Bell.
“Practice went great, it was a lot of enthusiasm in it,” he said of Florida’s practice. “A lot of hype, everybody was getting after it and that’s what I like to see. I watched the defensive backs because they had a new coach, Corey Bell, and I wanted to see how he coached. I wanted to see how he got after it and his style was truthful. He said he’s never going to lie to a player and that was true. It was a lot of teaching.”
After practice, Burney was able to meet with Bell and the defensive backs coach really put an emphasis on getting to know the athlete.
“He just wants to keep building a relationship with me, that was one of the main points that he wanted to get across,” Burney said of his talks with Corey Bell. “He said that you don’t want to go to a school that you don’t have a good relationship with the coaches. He was just really talking to me about coming back or was I done visiting.”
This was also the first time for Burney’s family to meet Bell and they came away impressed by the new Gators coach.
“My dad said he got a good vibe from Coach Bell,” he said of his parents’ impressions of Bell. “My mom said she did too and she said that he seemed like a cool coach and a good coach to be under.”
Burney says that one of the highlights of visiting Florida is getting to talk with McElwain and hear his message.
“He said the same thing that he always does when we talk, that I’m going to look good in the Orange and Blue,” Burney said of McElwain’s message. “He said that I’m going to be a Gator at the end.”
The Clearwater athlete has been to Florida a lot but he says this visit was different and it helped Florida out.
“It helps any school out when you’re able to get out there and watch them practice,” he said. “It really helped Florida out because I was able to watch the position drills and see what Coach Bell was about.”
Heading into his June 1st decision Burney says four schools are standing out for him as he looks at more visits before then.
“Florida, Ohio State, Florida State and Virginia Tech,” Burney said of schools he’s looking at. “I’m going to try and squeeze in visits to those schools but I’m supposed to be going to Ohio State in the few weeks to watch them practice.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Burney is still scheduled to announce his decision on June 1st and it still looks like it will either but Florida or Ohio State. Florida has done a great job of recruiting Burney and his parents and that should play a big role into his decision in June.