Offensive linemen were the talk of campus for the Florida Gators, as everyone wants to know whom the Gators will get at the position in 2017.
One guy that showed up for camp to work out was offensive lineman Toryque Bateman (6-8, 305, Gadsden, AL City), who called the trip better than expected.
“Overall camp and visit was good, I had lots of fun during the visit,” Bateman said. “It was a lot fun and I had paid attention to my parents and they had fun. It was a great visit and it exceeded my expectations. I know a lot about Florida and what they have to bring to the table so I was impressed. When I went through the tunnel at the Swamp, I got chills.”
Head coach Jim McElwain and offensive line coach Mike Summers sat Bateman down to explain when he could expect news on a potential offer from the Gators.
“Coach Mac and Coach Summers said they were going over film this week,” he said on what the staff said about a potential offer. “They told me that they would let me know and I don’t what they’re going to say but hopefully the big news will come.”
Summers also had a private meeting with Bateman and talked to him about why the Gators like him and his personality.
“My conversations with Coach Summers were pretty laid back,” Bateman said. “We just pretty much talked about me being a leader and me creating a better work ethic. He said before I came he knew I was athletic and could move but he saw a different side of me this weekend with my energy. He said that I had a smile on my face the entire time and that stood out to him.”
Bateman and his father also were told about why the Gators need players like him in the Gatos football program.
“We touched on the needing tackles and he talked with my dad about it a lot,” he said of Summers message. “He said that I was a priority to them and that would like to have me there. He said that they want me a lot and need me a lot. He emphasized that a lot.”
Recruiting coordinator Drew Hughes was a big reason that Bateman visited Gainesville and the two got to know each other better during the trip.
“Coach Drew was just telling me to have fun and to be myself,” Bateman said. “He was really talking to my parents a lot because he didn’t know them a lot. From what they told me he showed them that I was a priority to.”
Bateman left campus a little disappointed that he didn’t get the offer from Florida, but he says an offer from Florida would be big.
“If they offer they will be top five no doubt,” he said. “I’m going to take officials this fall but this is the last camp that I’m going too.”
INSIDERS TAKE: I expect Bateman to get an offer from the Gators soon and Florida will be in great shape if that happens. Bateman looked really good during camp and is a good tackle prospect.