This spring the Florida Gators coaching staff has worked hard going up and down the country looking for top prospects and that includes working the state of Florida harder than any staff that I can remember.
Offensive linemen have been one of the main focuses and Marcus Tatum (6-6, 254, Daytona Beach, FL Mainland) is one of those top targets that has seen offensive line coach Mike Summers at his school.
“I had a lot of coaches come by the school, Florida was by twice,” Tatum said. “Coach Summers and coach [Kerry] Dixon came by to see me one time each. They both got to watch me practice and evaluate me in person. It was nice seeing them out there even though I couldn’t talk to them.”
Summers was able to watch Tatum go through a spring practice, and after the practice was over, Tatum called Summers to get his evaluation of how the lineman did.
“Coach Summers was giving me some pointers when I talked to him the day after he visited me,” Tatum said. “He was telling me things to help me pull better and telling me about planting my foot more. Coach Dixon, since he isn’t an offensive line coach, just told me that I did good.”
Over the last few weeks Tatum has seen several schools turn up the heat on him but one school in particular has three coaches after him.
“Florida is recruiting me hard right now,” Tatum said. “I talk to coach Summers, coach Dixon and to coach McElwain on Twitter a lot. We aren’t really talking about football but mainly just trying to get to know each other.”
Tatum admits that, while he doesn’t talk a lot of football with Summers, the Gators offensive line coach has built a good relationship with the Daytona Beach prospect.
“Coach Summers says that we all know what Florida can do in football but he wants me to be more comfortable with him and the rest of the coaches,” Tatum said. “I feel comfortable with coach Summers as a coach. Coach McElwain talks to me about school and stuff. He’s really cool and I really like him personally.”
Heading into the spring Tatum had a top three of Florida, Miami and Auburn but he says that now he isn’t sure of that, as he hasn’t paid attention to recruiting much.
“Miami, Pittsburg, NC State, Auburn and Florida are recruiting me hard,” Tatum said. “I’m going to start paying more attention to recruiting since spring ball is over but I’ll let you know when I set a decision date.”
This summer will be very busy for Tatum as he plans to visit several schools– including the Florida Gators who may get several chances to host Tatum.
“I’m going to team camps with my team to Florida, Miami and some other in-state schools,” Tatum said. “Auburn is a maybe right now, but I’ll be with my team a lot. We will be at Friday Night Lights camp at Florida and the UCF team camp.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Florida is showing a lot of love to Tatum right now and I believe the Gators are the team to beat heading into the summer. Florida will likely host Tatum several times this summer and that should help the Gators out quite a bit as a summer decision is possible for Tatum.