Monday was the first day the Florida Gators hit the road instate as they begin their spring evaluation period, while Florida high schools kick off spring practice.
One prospect that received a visit from receivers coach Kerry Dixon was offensive lineman Marcus Tatum (6-6, 254, Daytona Beach, FL Mainland) who received a lengthy visit from Dixon.
“Coach Dixon came by this morning and he stayed and watched us run and go through install,” Tatum said. “It was good to see him at the school. It was just nice to see him around and he was talking to my coaches a lot. He actually knows my offensive line coach because they played against each other in college.”
Tatum has become very familiar with Florida and that carried over to Monday as Dixon has a connection to one of Tatum’s coaches; something that helped the conversation move along well between the two.
“Really they were just having common talk with each other,” Tatum said. “That’s what I like about Florida so much is that they can have common talk with you and that it isn’t all about football all the time. They are able to relate to you about anything so that’s always good.”
Since visiting Florida several times this spring Tatum says that he now talks a lot to the Gators coaching staff.
“I’ve been talking all of the coaches from Florida really, I talk to them a lot,” Tatum said. “Coach Mac [Jim McElwain] actually called my mom today and was just having a regular talk with her. He’s just trying to get us to feel comfortable around them since the football aspect is already there. My mom likes coach Mac a lot.”
Offensive line coach Mike Summers has been the one talking to Tatum the most and he continues to remind Tatum about the need for linemen in Gainesville.
“Coach Summers is just always talking to me about opportunity and the opportunity I have at Florida,” Tatum said. “He really just tells me that he needs linemen and not really a position. I know that I’ll play wherever I can to get on the field early.”
After a lot of visits this spring the Daytona Beach prospect says that three schools stand out to him.
“Florida, Auburn and Miami are all kind tied at the top right now,” Tatum said. “Those are the schools that I feel the most comfortable with and those are the schools that took a chance on me first. They weren’t just offering me to offer me, but they actually wanted me.”
Despite having three teams standing out, Tatum says that he’s getting closer to making a decision, as he plans some summer trips.
“I would like to make a decision before fall so that I can focus on my team and my senior year,” Tatum said. “I plan to take some visits this summer and my team may be going to a camp at Florida but if not then I plan to visit them.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Florida and Auburn seem to have the upper hand on Tatum right now but the opportunity to play at Florida early is something that you can tell Tatum notices. Right now the Gators just need to continue to recruit Tatum hard and if they do then they’re in good shape.