Any school that loses five of the six linemen from the best defense in the country has a serious re-loading job on its hands. At Florida, re-loading won’t be quite so painful because the Gators signed the best defensive line class in the country and it’s easily one of the best at that position in school history. One of the incoming freshmen that will have a chance to step up and play early is Justin Trattou, the 6-4, 255-pound defensive end from Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, New Jersey.
Trattou, who switched his commitment from Notre Dame to sign with the Gators, played in the US Army All-American Game in San Antonio. He knows what to expect when he gets on campus because his position coach at Florida has been telling him to be ready to play from day one.
“Coach (Greg) Mattison just says to keep working hard and to come in shape,” Trattou said. “If I come in and do well I can get on the field right away.”
Trattou’s roommate at Florida will be Jacksonville Nease offensive lineman and fellow US Army All-American James Wilson of Ponte Vedra Beach Nease. The two were already friends when they took their official visit to Florida on the same weekend.
“I keep in touch with my roommate James Wilson and I also talk to Duke Lemmens a little bit,” Trattou said. “I made great friends with James at the All-American game in San Antonio.”
School is out for this exceptional student and he has his mind set on being ready for the enormous competition that he will find at the next level.
“I got out of school last week and am enjoying my last month before getting ready to go to Florida,” he said. “I work out almost twice every day. Me and the guy I train with we lift at seven in the morning and run late in the day a few times a week and the other days I we just lift. The [Gator] coaches sent me the workout that I will use and I am following that as much as I can and doing some other stuff as well.
Trattou is just ready to be a college student. He looks forward to the next chapter in his life and he tells a little bit about what people can expect from him when he gets on campus.
“I am just looking forward to the whole college lifestyle, it will be different and I want to enjoy it,” he said. “I will work as hard as I can and not leave anything to question. At the end of the year people will know I worked as hard as I could and left it all out there. I am a hard working and hard hitting guy.”
The mold is almost set for the young men that the Gator staff is bringing into Gainesville. Excellent character people that can play the game of football and strive to be the very best. Justin Trattou is definitely in that mold.