Gators find a hidden gem last week

The Gators have had great luck recently in the north east part of Florida and this year that area is loaded with talent once again. With that being said, the Gators are obviously spending a lot of time in the area this spring evaluation period.

Last week offensive line coach Mike Summers spotted a new prospect in the area in offensive lineman Michael Howard (6-6, 250, Green Cove Springs, FL Clay High) and he received good news from the Gators on Monday.

“Coach [Will] Muschamp, Florida’s head coach offered me over the phone on Monday,” Howard said. “I honestly can’t remember what exactly he said because it happened so fast and so sudden. I do remember that he said that I had a lot of potential and a great opportunity to play at Florida because of my frame and ability to put weight on. He said that he sees me playing tackle.”

When Summers came by Clay High School last week he noticed Howard’s ability during a scrimmage but the two parties didn’t get a chance to communicate. Howard hopes that changes in the future.

“Coach Summers actually visited me last week at my school,” Howard said. “He was at my scrimmage actually but I didn’t get to talk to him. I don’t really know too much about him at this time but I’m hoping to learn more about him in the future.”

Being from the state of Florida Howard has grown up watching the Gators on TV and he has one person in his house that is a huge Florida fan but the offensive lineman admits that he doesn’t know a whole lot about the program.

“I have interest in Florida but I also have interest in the other schools that have offered me,” Howard said. “My dad is a Florida fan and I’ve grown watching them play and I know it’s a great program but I’ve never visited Florida so I can’t say how much interest I have in them at this time.”

This spring Howard has gone from a relatively unknown prospect to someone who is gaining interest nationwide and he says a few schools are recruiting him harder than others.

“Cal, Florida, Cincy, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia, Missouri and Oregon State are all recruiting me hard right now,” Howard said. “USF has also offered me recently.”

This summer Howard hopes to gain more knowledge about the programs that are recruiting him as he hits the road for visits.

“I don’t really have any time frame for a decision but I’m looking for good academics and how I will fit into the program,” Howard said. “I plan to take some visits this summer and start exploring colleges. I plan to get to Florida and a few other places.”

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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, 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.


  1. UF is struggling right now in recruiting and I don’t see it getting any better unless there is a turnaround on the field this season. Until that happens, UF will just ahve to hope that guys will wait to see improvement. I know it’s not what people want to hear, but just like elections, a 4-8 record has consequences.

    • A big kid like this who can run like hell. He has a 4.84 forty yard dash, best for offensive lineman this year. That’s some nice wheels yet. Furthermore he has a 4.59 shuttle run, that’s some great quicks for a man 6-5 even though he’s only 245 at this time. Let the program put the weight on him. Heck, if he has good hands maybe he could end up a bruising TE.