The Florida Gators recruiting list was simply outstanding for the Gators game against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday night and they were treated to a good one.
Offensive lineman Marcus Tatum (6-6, 254, Daytona Beach, FL Mainland) was one of the Florida Gators recruiting prospects on campus and he was impressed by the atmosphere in the Swamp.
“This was the first game at Florida for both my mom and I,” Tatum said. “I went to the spring game but not a real one. It was a good one to come too and a great atmosphere.”
Tatum had the opportunity to meet with Florida head coach Jim McElwain and offensive line coach Mike Summers and they had a few words for Tatum to remember during his visit to Gainesville.
“That they want me here and that love me here,” he said of the coaches’ messages to him. “They told me to enjoy my time here and to enjoy the atmosphere and to just soak it all in.”
Tennessee and Florida are both schools that Tatum is high on, but it was something that Florida did that caught his attention.”
“Both of the offensive line’s are really good,” Tatum said. “I did notice that Coach Summers plays a lot of his freshmen early and he rotates a lot of his guys in. There is never just one set of players because he’s always rotating his players in.”
Every freshman wants to play early and Florida showed Tatum that the opportunity is there for freshmen.
“The way Coach Summers rotates his offensive line,” Tatum on what stood out to him. “It’s really cool to see freshmen playing and while I don’t want to be guaranteed playing time it’s good to see that they get a shot and that’s all you can ask for.”
The Mainland offensive lineman has been following the Florida Gators the last few years and he saw something different from the team on Saturday.
“It’s really nice that the passing attack has turned up some,” Tatum said. “In the past they would’ve probably said that they lost and gave up but it’s nice to see the new environment around them.”
Everything went great between Florida and Tatum and the offensive lineman says that everything went well for his mom too.
“My mom really liked it a lot, she enjoyed herself a lot,” he said. “She enjoyed the atmosphere a lot and really she doesn’t care about football so she likes seeing the people. She likes seeing the fans and the coaches.”
Tatum has long said that he wanted to make a decision this fall or winter but he says he has two official visits he wants to take first.
“I want to take an official to Florida and Tennessee but I’m not sure when,” he said. “Whenever I’m ready is when I will announce, honestly. I just don’t know when it will happen but it won’t be in February. It will be before then.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Florida and Tennessee have long been the top two schools for Tatum but I think the Florida Gators have a slight edge due to distance and how comfortable Tatum is at Florida. Tatum also knows that Summers is a guy that can develop him into a good lineman.