Florida continues haul on defensive line

In an effort to continue building a solid foundation on the defensive line, Florida has really amped up their recruiting efforts along the defensive line in recent weeks. Among the names to emerge is junior college defensive tackle Edwin Herbert (6-3, 290, Fairfield, CA City College of San Francisco), a former Tennessee pledge, who dropped his commitment to the Vols after the departure of former head coach Phil Fulmer from Knoxville. After taking his third official visit in three weeks (his previous two trips were to N.C. State and Arkansas), Herbert finally found his future home, going public with a commitment to the Florida Gators upon his return to California on Saturday evening.

Herbert made it into town on Thursday, and was hosted by two different Florida players during his stay. “My first night was Omar Hunter, and my second night was Javier Estopinan,” Herbert said. While the California native got to enjoy what the East Coast had to offer, when it came down to it, the business side of things would be the rationale for making a decision

“After seeing Florida’s facilities, and meeting the players…everything was real great.”

While many are point to the excellent job Lane Kiffin has done since being hired as Tennessee’s head coach, the fact that he has a staff in transition certainly has hurt him on the recruiting trail with several prospects. Jarvis Giles last week (with his commitment to South Carolina), and Herbert would prove to be another example. Herbert had a pretty clear explanation as to why he is no longer committed to the Vols, however: “What hurt Tennessee the most was Coach Atkins, not having a guaranteed job. He’s a real good coach, and a real good person. That hurt Tennessee a lot.”

As for that ridiculous 460-pound bench press you may have seen listed for Herbert, yes it’s legit. “That was what I did that during spring testing,” he confirmed to me over the phone. With his enrollment, Herbert will immediately become one of the strongest players on the team, and for a group with a lot of questions marks behind two returning starters (Lawrence Marsh and Terron Sanders) at defensive tackle, the commitment of Herbert certainly proves to be a huge pick-up for the Gators at this stage of the year.

On the subject of enrollment, Herbert will be moving to Gainesville in January to enter school for the Spring Semester at the University of Florida. He will be signing next Wednesday with the Gators, and will take part in spring practice for the Gators. He has three years to complete two years of eligibility, but it should be expected that his redshirt probably will not be used unless in the event of an injury.

As for what he brings to the table, it’s clear that there is only one thing in mind for Herbert. Heading into Florida as an upperclassman, he expects to compete for immediate playing time, and provide an instant addition to the rotation at defensive tackle (where DL coach Dan McCarney loves to rotate his charges). He had a simple response to this query: “That’s the plan.”

Herbert becomes the fourth prospect in the class of 2009 projected to play along the defensive line for the University of Florida. He joins a group of commitments which includes Gary Brown (6-4, 280, Greensboro, FL West Gadsden), Kedric Johnson (6-4, 220, Palmetto, FL), and Nick Kasa (6-6, 250, Broomfield, CO Legacy).