GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Tight end was one of two positions that Florida did not sign any recruits for in the 2016 class, so it will be a priority this year.
The Gators already have their sights set on Tre’ McKitty from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The 6-foot-4, 238-pounder visited UF in January, where he spent time with Jim McElwain, tight ends coach Greg Nord and the rest of the staff.
“I went to talk to coach Mac and he was just telling me how great it is to be a Gator,” McKitty said. “I talked to the rest of the coaches. I have a good relationship with all of them.
“Coach Nord is telling me I’m his No. 1 guy and I’m the guy he wants in the class. They didn’t sign anybody in the 2016 class, so they’re looking to really get me.”
The interest is mutual with McKitty, who told SEC Country that Florida is “one of his higher options.” Academics, relationships and early playing time are the important factors for him, and he said UF meets his criteria.
“The opportunity to play right away when I get here is what I want to do,” McKitty said. “Jake McGee had a really big year, and coach is showing me I can have an even bigger year than that if I come here.”
Florida’s offense during the first half of 2015 caught McKitty’s eye, and he likes what McElwain is doing with the UF program.
“Great, great year for Florida,” McKitty said. “I was very impressed and it got me excited. I grew up a Florida fan, so seeing them come back and do good in coach Mac’s first season was big.
“The offense struggled with Treon (Harris) at quarterback, but they were doing really good at the beginning of the year. I think coach Mac will find somebody to spark their offense. They got Feleipe Franks, so that will be good to have him next season.”
The former Miami commit plans to visit Auburn, North Carolina, Tennessee and the other Florida schools in the future. He’s in no rush to make a decision.
“I’m just going to take my time. I don’t have leaders right now,” McKitty said. “I’m not going to do anything until later in the year when I know for sure what I want.”