It’s no secret that the Florida Gators recruiting class of 2017 needs to have multiple defensive tackles in it as the Gators are low on numbers at the position.
One of the top targets in the class at defensive tackle is Fred Hansard (6-3, 324, Princeton, NJ Hun School) and he received a visit from defensive line coach Chris Rumph and defensive backs coach Torrian Gray last week at his school.
“Coach Rumph and Coach Gray came by school on Thursday,” Hansard said. “I couldn’t really talk to them but it was good to see Coach Gray and Coach Rumph come by school to see me.”
Despite not being able to talk to the Gators coaches last week Hansard says that he talk to the Florida coaches a lot, including head coach Jim McElwain.
“I talk to Florida almost every day,” he said on how often he talks to Florida. “I would say I speak to every coach on the staff some. Me and Coach Mac text each other every other day, so I would say they are recruiting me hard.”
When Hansard and Rumph talk over the phone, the Gators defensive line coach expresses a huge for the defensive tackle according to Hansard.
“I talk to Coach Rumph a lot over the phone,” Hansard of his talks with Rumph. “He says that they need defensive linemen bad and that I would be huge get for them. He says that he wants me pretty bad this year and that if I work hard there’s no doubt that I would play early at Florida.”
Defensive backs coach Torrian Gray has recruited Hansard’s area for a few years now so he knows the defensive tackle and the two have a good relationship with each other.
“Coach Gray and I text a lot and he just says that he really wants me to be a Gator,” he said of his talks with Gray. “We have a good relationship with each other but I would say I talk to Coach Rumph and Coach Mac the most.”
Hansard, who says that he hears from McElwain a lot, feels honored to be recruited by the head coach of a major university and a university that he likes a lot.
“Coach Mac makes it clear that he really wants me to play for his program,” Hansard said of McElwain’s message. “He said that it’s cool to know that Florida is my dream school and that they want me. It means the world to me that the head coach is personally recruiting me.”
The New Jersey prospect admits that he dreamed of getting an offer from Florida and says that a visit to Gainesville will happen soon.
“Florida is just a school that I grew up watching and was always a place that I dreamed of playing at,” he said of his interest in Florida. “I plan to visit this summer and I just want to check everything out. I really can’t wait to visit but I don’t have a date set for the visit yet.”
Despite having double digit offers already Hansard says that he hasn’t narrowed things down yet but did say one school is in good shape with him.
“I haven’t named a leader or cut my list yet,” Hansard said. “But Florida is in a great place for me right now.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Hansard is one of the top defensive tackles in the country and is a high priority for the Gators this year. Florida is looking for defensive tackles that can play early and Hansard fits the bill there.