The Florida Gators coaching staff hosted the first ever Great Gator cook-out on Saturday and several big targets for the Gators were on hand.
One of those was offensive lineman Will Putnam (6-4, 280, Tampa, FL. Plant) who was on campus for the second time this spring.
“It was really good, I haven’t been here since their spring practice,” Putnam said of his visit to Florida on Saturday. “So getting up here and hanging out with the coaches and just kind of hang out with Florida football is nice.”
Saturday was a chance for Putnam and his family to get to know the Gators staff personally instead of on the football field.
“It was definitely more of a family environment than it was a recruiting deal,” he said of the atmosphere on Saturday. “Football really wasn’t discussed too much and it was more about hanging out, having a good time, eating good food and hanging out with the coaches. So it was real fun.”
The laid back approach the staff took on Saturday was something that stood out to Putnam and other prospects.
“It was really nice especially at a time like this where a lot of guys in my class are starting to commit,” Putnam said on the laid back environment. “It was refreshing just being able to relax.”
Before Dan Mullen and his staff arrived in Gainesville, the Gators weren’t talked about much with Putnam but he says he has been able to learn a lot about the staff recently.
“I really am able to see the coaches personality and stuff,” he said on how he has gotten to know the staff. “It’s all really nice because it all plays into the decision and not all just about football at the end.”
One of those coaches that Putnam has gotten to know is offensive line coach John Hevesy and the two have built a solid relationship.
“I think he’s really funny and has a good personality,” Putnam said of Hevesy. “I think he’s a character but with that he’s just a really intense coach. With those two combined, I think he’s a really good coach.”
Hevesy and Mullen both gave Putnam a little message about the recruiting process on Saturday but they kept it short and simple.
“I would say there message to me is that they’re really interested in me,” he said of the message from the staff on Saturday. “They would love for me to come to Florida but to take my time and make sure it’s the right fit.”
Putnam who has offers from just about all of the top schools in the nation is trying to narrow things down in his recruitment soon.
“I would say right now that I’m close to the point where I’m really trying to find a top five,” Putnam said on where he’s in the process. “And say these are my schools and this is who I’m sticking with and go from there. So I’m not there yet.”
Florida among others have been able to get Putnam on campus lately as the lineman says those schools are all schools he has interest in.
“All of the schools that I’m visiting right now are schools that I’m interested in,” he said on if anyone is recruiting him harder than another one. “This past spring I visited Florida, Florida State and Clemson, also Auburn. All of the schools that I visited I’m interested in.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Putnam says he wants to have a top five by football season and he will take official visits this fall. Distance isn’t a factor in Putnam’s decision as he was born in Michigan and has lived all over the country being in a military family.