Florida Gators help their chances with Putnam after spring visit

Last Saturday, the Florida Gators practice fields were loaded with prospects watching practice as the Gators went through spring practice number two.

A number of instate prospects were on campus including offensive lineman William Putnam (6-4, 280, Tampa, FL. Plant) who made his first visit to Florida.

“The visit went really well,” Putnam said of his visit to Florida on Saturday. “That was my first up to Gainesville but I was able to see practice, I was able to meet with all of the coaches and get a nice campus tour.”

Putnam just moved to the state of Florida but he has been watching head coach Dan Mullen for sometime and that’s a big reason he visited Gainesville on Saturday.

“It’s only about an hour and half to Gainesville so it’s really close for us,” he said on why he decided to visit Florida on Saturday. “I’m just generally interested in Florida and I think Coach [Dan] Mullen and his staff did great things at Mississippi State and now that they’re at the University of Florida with the tradition they have, I just really wanted to get up there.”

The Gators have been putting the full court press on Putnam since they arrived in Gainesville and that includes three coaches talking to the lineman.

“I would say mostly Coach [John] Hevesy and Coach [Larry] Scott,” Putnam said on which coach he talks to the most. “Coach Scott is my area recruiter and Coach Hevesy is the offensive line coach. I’ve been talking to Coach Mullen as well.”

Offensive line coach John Hevesy spoke at length with Putnam on Saturday about what he can do for the lineman’s game.

“His big thing that he had to say was how he develops offensive linemen,” he said on Hevesy’s message to him. “He was saying how he develops guys with their techniques and stuff. He said he can evolve a lineman to be great technician.”

Hevesy didn’t specify an exact position for Putnam but mainly expressed that the Gators will play him at wherever he fits in best at.

“He said just wherever I fit best,” Putnam said on where Hevesy wants him at. “He said it would be how I practice whether that’s at tackle, guard or even center. Just wherever is best.”

Head coach Dan Mullen also had a length discussion with Putnam and his father during the visit about Florida can offer the lineman.

“He definitely mentioned that he wants to get Florida back,” he said on Mullen’s message to him. “Coach Mullen’s message to me is that Florida is a great school and the alumni connection is huge and that Florida is a school that you can accomplish a lot on and off the field. He said you would have great academic support.”

Heading into the visit Putnam didn’t know a whole lot about Florida but after the visit, the Gators helped themselves.

“Definitely, after the visit it definitely increased my interest in Florida,” Putnam said on if the visit helped Florida. “I went up there just with my dad, I would like to get up there again with hopefully my mom too.”

Putnam has dozens of offers from some of the nations best and he’s in the process of doing his homework on all of those schools.

“I’m pretty open minded,” he said on if anyone leads. “I would say right now that I’m still looking at a lot of schools, I have some visits scheduled to schools that I’ve never been to before. I’m still open with my recruitment.”

INSIDERS TAKE: Putnam says he doesn’t think he will make a decision this spring but he also doesn’t want to take his recruitment all the way till signing day. Putnam says he plans to return for another visit to Florida but isn’t sure of the date yet.

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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 Rivals.com, 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.