The Florida Gators need for offensive linemen has been well documented. The Gators have two solid bookends to build around in David Sharpe and Rod Johnson but the interior of the offensive line is inexperienced and thin.
Trying to fill that need, Jim McElwain reached out to Trey Derouen (6-3, 309, Lilburn, Georgia, Parkview) on Thursday.
“It went pretty well,” Derouen said of his talk with McElwain. “He said that I would have an opportunity to play there but I would have to go on my official visit before anything can happen.”
The previous coaching staff wasn’t really recruiting Derouen hard but McElwain and this coaching staff have begun to build a relationship with the big interior lineman. He likes Florida and the fact that they’re getting into the process late isn’t playing negatively against the Gators. In fact, after talking to McElwain, Derouen is looking forward to making his trip down to Gainesville in hopes of landing a scholarship offer. “It would mean a lot to get that offer,” he said.
During their conversation McElwain told Derouen where he sees him fitting in Florida’s offense and just how dire the need for offensive linemen is.
“He just told me that they need linemen, like six more on top of the three that they already have,” he said. “He sees me as an interior guy. He likes me. If I actually go down on an official visit he indicated that there would be an offer on the table.”
Derouen will visit Louisville today [Friday] and South Carolina the following week. He wants to make a mid week visit to Kansas State before getting down to Gainesville with his father.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how they work things out, academics, see what their pitch is to me, how I stand with their style of offense,” he said.
As far as where the Gators stand, there is obviously ground to make up here but McElwain made a great first impression and ensured that Florida will be a player in the race for Derouen’s signature on national signing day.
“I like him. He seems like a guy that is going to put Florida back where they were at, back at the top,” said Derouen. “I can buy in to that program and he seems like a good coach to hang around with.”