The Florida Gators hosted several official visitors this past weekend but maybe the biggest visitor on campus was unofficial visitor Martez Ivey (6-5, 271, Apopka, FL High) who stayed all day Saturday on campus.
“The visit was great, I just hung out with everyone on campus,” Ivey said. “I spent most of the day on campus talking to the coaches on Saturday. It wasn’t really a recruiting trip but more of me just hanging out.”
Ivey has become very close with offensive line coach Mike Summers the past year and the two had a lot of bonding time on Saturday together.
“I walked around campus with Coach Summers most of the day,” Ivey said. “He was just taking me in classrooms and just really talking to me. We have a great relationship so our talks were just about everything, not just football.”
While Summers didn’t have much of a message for Ivey as far as recruiting goes he did make sure to drop one piece of information on the big offensive tackle on Saturday.
“He didn’t really have a message or anything for me because it was just casual talk,” Ivey said. “The one thing that he did tell me was that they are in a rare situation where they don’t have a lot of linemen on campus right now. He said that I have an opportunity to come in and start as a true freshman.”
Head coach Jim McElwain was busy with official visitors most of Saturday but he did a get chance to sit down and talk with Ivey on Saturday and the conversation went well.
“I got talk to Coach McElwain for a little bit after he got done with the official visitors,” Ivey said. “He was telling me about all of the changes he had in mind for the program and how he was going to get Florida back on track. He is definitely going to get them back on top.”
Ivey hasn’t had a whole a lot of time to get to know McElwain, but from Ivey has learned about him, he likes so far.
“I like Coach McElwain a lot,” Ivey said. “I mean haven’t gotten the chance to talk to him as much as I would like but he’s doing a good job and moving the program in the right direction.”
The Gators and Auburn will both put on one last sales pitch this week, as both schools will have in-home visits with the talented lineman.
“Florida is coming on either Wednesday or Thursday,” Ivey said. “Auburn is coming on Thursday. Coach Malzahn is coming from Auburn and Coach Summers and Coach [Doug] Nussmeier are coming from Florida.”
Ivey, who hasn’t wanted to tip his hand in the past, is still doing a good job of keeping his recruitment even keel as he says the schools are tied for him as he heads out of the country next weekend.
“Right now I would say I’m 50/50 between Florida and Auburn,” Ivey said. “I’m done with visits because I’m going on a cruise next weekend to the Bahamas. It kind of worked out so that I can take a break from everything but it wasn’t planned like that.”
INSIDERS TAKE: I think the opportunity to play early will be the deciding factor that helps Florida here but next week’s in-home visits are huge for both schools.