The Florida Gators had luck gaining a prospect from Louisiana last year by signing Gerald Willis and the Gators kept that momentum rolling by securing a commitment from Derrick Dillon in this recruiting cycle.
The Gators coaching staff hopes that trend continues as they handed out an offer to 2016 tight end Jamal Pettigrew (6-5, 216, New Orleans, LA St. Augustine) a few weeks ago.
“Coach Derek Lewis offered me a scholarship two weeks ago,” Pettigrew said. “He said that he liked my style of play and that I have gotten better since he saw me at camp when I was a freshman. I camped at Florida during that summer with Coach Lewis and Coach [Will] Muschamp.”
This wasn’t Pettigrew’s first offer but it was a big one to him and one that put a smile on the tight end’s face.
“I’m really happy about the offer from Florida,” Pettigrew said. “I’m really excited to finally get my fourth offer and my first one from the SEC. Louisville, Nebraska and Tulane have also offered me.”
The Gators have a little bit of an in with Pettigrew as tight ends coach Derek Lewis is from the New Orleans area.
“Coach Lewis graduated from my high school and played tight end here,” Pettigrew said. “I like that about him and I know that he won’t misdirect me and that he will make me a better man. That’s a connection that a lot of people don’t have with a position coach.”
Since it has been two years since Pettigrew has visited Gainesville he’s looking forward to getting a chance to get back to Gainesville for a visit.
“I’m going to have to talk to Coach Lewis about visiting them,” Pettigrew said. “I want to get down there again but I just have to make plans with Coach Lewis about when.”
LSU is a school that is close to offering Pettigrew but right now he says he’s in no rush to make any decisions.
“I’m open and just looking at all of my options right now,” Pettigrew said. “I haven’t really thought about any kind of decision or anything like that yet.”
INSIDER TAKE: The connection between Lewis and Pettigrew will keep Florida in the mix for him to the end. LSU will always be a factor for prospects from New Orleans but a good showing on offense with the tight end can only help the Gators.
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