Lovelace left “speechless” by Billy Napier after earning an offer from UF

On Tuesday night, the Florida Gators added a JUCO offensive lineman to the 2022 class and shortly before that they offered another JUCO lineman for 2022.

Offensive lineman Cooper Lovelace (6-5, 320, Prairie Village, KS. Butler JUCO) picked up an offer after he talked to Billy Napier himself.

“It came from the head man himself,” Lovelace said on who offered him. “We’ve been communicating with each other the last two weeks through Coach [Rob] Sale and Coach [Darnell] Stapleton, they sent me an email asking about my film, so we’ve been in touch about that.”

Offensive line coach Darnell Stapleton visited Lovelace this week and watched him workout before Napier offered him.

“Coach Stapleton came up and watched me workout on Monday,” he said. “They saw what they needed and called the head man. They were very detailed, anyone right now getting a Florida offer is earning it, they aren’t just giving them out.”

Lovelace was told to call Napier and when he did, he was left speechless by the news of the offer from the Gators.

“I called him, and I was kind of speechless,” Lovelace said on his reaction to the news from Napier. “It’s the Florida Gators, it was hard to wrap my mind around that but at the same time they just didn’t give it out, I earned it. It felt so good.”

Stapleton and Rob Sale have explained to Lovelace that he’s a guy that they could move around on the line depending on where he’s needed.

“With my size, I’m pretty mobile, I’ve played center, right guard, right tackle and left guard,” he said on where Florida likes him at. “I’m not a one trick pony as they say, I guess that’s one of the attractive features about me.”

Lovelace hasn’t known Sale and Stapleton for long, but he’s already impressed by their coaching abilities and knowledge of the game.

“They’re some smart cats,” Lovelace said on his impressions of Stapleton and Sale. “Just from talking to them, with the way they hold their room, with how detailed oriented they are, everything has an order. I like the technique they’re teaching.”

Next up for Lovelace will be an official visit to Florida this month and when he gets to Gainesville, he knows what he wants to see.

“I’m going to take one but it’s just about picking out a day,” he said on an official visit. “When I get there, I want to watch film with them, go through their spring ball, and see how they would run a meeting. Just seeing how they truly coach is something I’m looking forward to.”

Heading into that visit, the Gators are right there for Lovelace as they’re battling a west coast team for his signature.

“It’s pretty high, in terms of true offensive line development, it’s going to be pretty hard to beat,” Lovelace said on his interest in Florida. “It’s extremely impressive, USC is up there as well, those are kind of the big two that I’m focusing on right now. They’ve put the most time into me.”


INSIDERS TAKE: Lovelace has three years to play three years and he plans to enroll in a school this summer

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.