Simonds impressed by Florida Gators coach John Hevesy

In what seems like a repeat message as in years past, the Florida Gators are looking for offensive linemen in the 2019 class and this past weekend they hosted one on a official visit.

Offensive lineman Riley Simonds (6-4, 324, Buford, GA. High) was on campus with his family and got to see what the Gators have to offer.

“It went excellent,” Simonds said of his visit to Florida. “We hung out with the coaches and some of the players. We toured the athletic and academics buildings with my family.”

Many of the Florida Gators coaching staff spent time with Simonds on the visit including head coach Dan Mullen.

“I talked with Coach [John] Hevesy and Coach Mullen the most but we talked to some of the others coaches to,” he said on the coaches he spoke with. “I was just trying to get to know them all.”

Offensive line coach John Hevesy spoke at length with Simonds about where the Gators see him playing at if he chooses Florida.

“He was just saying to enjoy my time here and he thanked me for coming,” Simonds said on Hevesy’s message to him. “He was talking about where I would play on the offensive line as an interior guy for them, he says I’m a center/guard type of player and he needs me to come there and play for him.”

Hevesy also broke down exactly how many linemen the Gators want to add in the 2019 class.

“He says he needs me,” he said. “He said that he plans to take five offensive linemen whether it be two tackles and three interior guys or whether it be three tackles and two interior guys. Any combination he gets, he just wants to take five.”

This was the second visit to Gainesville for Simonds and he walked away impressed by Hevesy as a coach and person.

“I think he’s one of the best coaches in all of coach football,” he said of what he thinks of Hevesy. “I really like that about him and he’s a really good guy. There are two sides to every coach and you have to see how they’re off the field and how they’re on the field. On the field you want a coach that is going to get the best out of you and then off the field you want a guy that’s going to break you down but love you if you need it. Coach Hevesy is that type of guy.”

Simonds also was impressed by Mullen and his message that he gave the lineman and his family.

“Coach Mullen is always the same straight shooter,” Simonds said of Mullen’s message to him. “He said pretty much the same thing about where I would fit in at and what the main goal is for Florida.”

After the visit to Gainesville, Simonds says that three teams are ahead in his recruitment.

“I guess I have Florida, Virginia Tech and Missouri,” he said of schools standing out. “But I’m still open to other colleges right now.”


INSIDERS TAKE: Simonds says he doesn’t have a set date on when he wants to commit but does have an official visit set to Missouri for this weekend.

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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.