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Andrew Chatfield discusses Florida decision
The Gators addressed their front-seven needs on Wednesday with the addition of Andrew Chatfield.
The 4-star outside linebacker from American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) committed to Florida live on ESPNU with a Chucky Doll, paying homage to former Florida defensive linemen Dominique Easley and Dante Fowler Jr.
Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma were also finalists for Chatfield, but his decision came down to the Gators and Hurricanes.
“It was really out of Miami and Florida,” Chatfield said. “Miami was really coming at me more at the end. I was alright with it, but I just felt like I belonged in Gainesville.
“It was just the love there and every time I stepped on campus I always felt like I’m a Gator already. It’s just a great connection with the coaches and the players. I loved everything about it.”
The Hurricanes had momentum for Chatfield in November and December, but the Gators gained ground on Miami during the final month of his recruiting process. His history with first-year coach Dan Mullen helped Florida’s cause.
“When he was at Mississippi State, he gave me like my third offer,” Chatfield said of Mullen. “I knew him since my sophomore year, so I always talked to him. It was a big connection.”
Chatfield said he decided on the Gators earlier in the week after a conversation with Mullen and his assistant coaches. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham served as his primary recruiter.
“I knew like three days back that I was going to Florida,” Chatfield said. “I was just talking to the coaches and it was just a cool talk. It wasn’t nothing about football, just had a conversation about life. It was really nice.”
Chatfield has a few former high school teammates on Florida’s team as well as some friends in the 2018 class. Needless to say, he’s ready to get to Gainesville.
“They’re building something special over there with Coach Mullen,” Chatfield said. “I’m seeing it happen. They’re getting all these recruits to come in and I just love everything about that place.”
“It’s going to be ridiculous. With all of us playing together and having that chemistry … nobody’s going to really be able to stop us.”
— Andrew Chatfield™ ⛽️ (@Drew_Chatfield) February 8, 2018
Dan Mullen excited about Andrew Chatfield
Even though Mullen was expecting Chatfield to commit on National Signing Day, there was still some suspense for his announcement in the football offices.
“We had a good idea what was going to happen but we didn’t have his letter yet,” Mullen said. “We had the TV on and everyone was celebrating in the room. It was great. We’re really excited to have him be part of our family.”
Chatfield is ranked the nation’s No. 13 weakside defensive end in the 247Sports Composite, but the Gators recruited him to play outside linebacker in their new 3-4 scheme under Grantham.
“We listed him at 6’2″ and he was almost 240 on his visit when he came in, so he’s grown. He’s put on that size,” Mullen said. “One of the things I love, you turn on that film and you talk to people at American Heritage … everyone will say he’s the hardest playing guy on the field. The effort to me is what is so important and so impressive.”
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