High on the target list at any position for the National Champion Florida Gators this recruiting season is Mountain Brook (AL) offensive tackle Tyler Love (6-8, 280). He rates high enough on the importance scale for Urban Meyer to make a quick stop out of his recruiting tour to get a glimpse of Love at practice. Love took notice.
“It was a good day of practice and Coach Meyer was there to watch me today (Thursday),” Love said. “He came around 2 O’clock, so people didn’t know much about it. I didn’t really tell anyone, because I didn’t want anything bad to happen.”
A bevy of coaches are due in to Mountain Brook next week to see Love and the massive lineman enjoys all the attention, but believes it is a little hectic at times.
“It is crazy, but fun at the same time,” he said. “The constant text messages and mail and constantly researching the colleges to see the best place for me takes a lot of time.”
While he will narrow the schools down in a few weeks, Love isn’t quite ready to make a decision. He has visited quite a few of the schools he is looking at and will make more trips before he makes that final choice.
“I have been to Florida, LSU, Georgia, Alabama, and Clemson already,” Love said. “I will have a top six after spring training which is the last part of May. I will make my college decision sometime during the football season.”
Love has a connection to the University of Florida and knows that Gainesville is a special place. It has an important place in his family’s history.
“Florida has always been a powerhouse,” he said. “My grandfather played there and that is very important to me. They just have athletes that come out of Florida. They do the right thing and go to the NFL. I just like the environment and the coaching staff.”
Love is in constant contact with the Gator staff with a redline to the Gator head coach. Offensive line coaches John Hevesy and Steve Addazio are also working the All-American tackle and making sure he knows he is a need for the Gators.
“I talk to Coach Meyer, Coach Addazio, and Coach Hevesy a lot,” Love said. “Coach Meyer talks to me about what is going on in school, he talks about life, and a little bit about recruiting. He certainly talks to me about getting me down there to Gainesville.”
Love has matured into a big time player through persistence on the field and a growth spurt that no one saw coming. He takes the game of football very seriously and it is something that is very dear to him.
“I love the game of football,” he said. “I have been playing since the fourth grade. I was always been a lineman. I was always real lean, a tall kid, and not fat. I want to get a little heavier, but not too much. The height is better than I ever expected. I never thought I would be this tall.”
When asked who he would like to compare his game to, he said: “I would like to be compared to Chris Samuels (former Alabama All-American). I just like the way he dominated. I like run blocking, but pass blocking is the best quality I have as a lineman.”
Besides all of the physical attributes, Tyler Love likes the film room. He is a football junkie and a sponge for gridiron knowledge. Because of that, he finds himself often questioning the college coaches about the different schemes and techniques they use to coach with.
“I will ask questions about technique, because I am a technique guy,” Love said. “The rules of the blocking schemes are really important to me.”
Tyler Love says the school itself is the most important thing when it comes to making a final college decision. The University of Florida has one of the highest graduation rates for football players in the country. It is a sure bet the Gators will be there to the end for Love.