Gators may gamble on Mississippi QB

The recruiting process for Ryan Buchanan did not begin as fast as it does for most quarterbacks. The process has been slowed for a variety of reasons, mainly because he plays at a smaller school and is a potential top baseball draft pick.

However, Buchanan has spread the word that he plans to play college football, not professional baseball, so things are heating up for the signal caller from Jackson (Miss.) Prep with several major programs, including Florida, contacting the 6-foot-3, 203-pounder.

“A couple of weeks ago I got a message that (UF assistant) coach (Brent) Pease wanted me to call him,” Buchanan said. “He said they were really impressed by me and wants me to keep in contact with them every week.”

Like most programs, the Gators are trying to get the big quarterback on campus. That’s the main thing Pease, Florida’s new offensive coordinator, is trying to get accomplished at this early stage of the game.

“Coach Pease said he wants me to come down to see Florida,” Buchanan said. “And get the relationship building started. They want to get to know me and stuff. They love my film but want to find out more about me.”

Florida is not the only Southeastern Conference program showing an increased interest in Buchanan as of last. Arkansas and Auburn have both contacted Buchanan with the same goal in mind of getting the big quarterback to visit.

“I’m going to Arkansas on the 31st (March) because Arkansas was the first to contact me,” Buchanan said. “Then after Arkansas, I’m going to Auburn and then towards the end of April I will be going to Florida.”

Pease told Buchanan what an offer from Florida meant in the eyes of the Gators’ coaching staff. Pease told him that if the Florida Gators offer a guy a scholarship, then “We want you to play here.” Buchanan added that Pease said that if they offer a quarterback, that it doesn’t mean “Hey, keep interest here,” and is more like “We want you here.”

In other words, only a select few signal callers are offered scholarships by UF.

“That’s why they have only (offered) four or five quarterbacks in the nation,” he said.

As is the case with Arkansas and Auburn, Florida wants to see Buchanan in person to make sure he measures in at 6-3 before extending an offer.

If Buchanan measures up, an offer could come sooner rather than later.

“If (Pease) feels confident, he may offer early,” Buchanan said. “He just wants to get to know me and see me in person.”

Buchanan has already picked an in-state offer from Ole Miss, but staying close to home is not a priority.

“I’m definitely looking at programs outside of the state,” Buchanan said. “It’s cool getting the in-state offer, but I’m 100 percent looking at other schools. I mean, whatever program is the best fit for me and wherever I feel comfortable at.”

Visiting Florida is something Buchanan has looked forward to doing for quite some time.

“I’ve always wanted to see the Swamp and be in Gainesville,” Buchanan said. “I think it’s (an) awesome place and I can’t wait to take a visit there.”

Last season, the three-sport star helped lead Jackson Prep to the state championship game, where the Patriots lost 17-14 against Jacksonville Academy. Buchanan finished the season with 14 touchdown passes while piloting a run-oriented offense.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.