As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottoes is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
Hitting it off
Three months ago, Florida was not a top school for Richard Gouraige, a 4-star offensive tackle from Tampa, Fla. He liked the Gators’ football program, but did not have a great relationship with UF offensive line coach Mike Summers.
However, Summers left for Louisville on Jan. 14 and Florida coach Jim McElwain replaced him with Brad Davis, who has changed the course of Gouraige’s recruitment.
“Ever since coach Summers left, no offense, but Coach Davis has been recruiting me harder,” Gouraige said. “Coach Davis just brings that new style, just that new swag. He’s going to tell you if he really wants you or not. He’s just investing all his time in me and saying that I can come in and make an impact on this team.”
Clemson was considered Gouraige’s for several months, but the Gators have separated themselves from the Tigers and more than 30 other teams on his offer list. Gouraige named Florida his leader after attending the Orange & Blue Debut.
The reason? You guessed it.
“Coach Davis himself,” Gouraige said. “We’ve been having a great conversation every other week and we talk more than football. We talk about how my family is doing, how his family is doing, my grades and how I can get better as a man off the field.”
Last Friday was Gouraige’s second visit to Florida in as many months. In addition to Davis, he has formed a bond with McElwain and his players.
“It helped a lot,” Gouraige said of his latest visit, “because they can really sit down 1-on-1 with me and have a real conversation. They tell me they really need me and look me right in my eyes when they’re saying it. I just love Coach Mac. He always keeps it real with me.
“I just felt that chemistry with all the players. I’ve been talking to Martez Ivey, Zachary Carter and all those boys. They just say it’s a family over there and I wanted to come experience myself one more time.”
The 6-foot-5, 271-pound lineman is ranked the nation’s No. 6 offensive tackle and No. 64 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite. He told SEC Country a decision could come at “any time” and his mother plays an important role in his recruitment.
“She really thinks that Florida can be the right place for me,” Gouraige said. “It’s close to home and she can see me every weekend. She likes it so far. That’s a good thing. I can’t do nothing without her, so as long as she’s happy I’m happy.”
News & notes
- Iverson Clement, a 4-star athlete from Mount Holly, N.J., plans to announce his decision Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. He is expected to choose the Gators, who are recruiting him as a running back.
- Jacob Copeland, a 4-star wide receiver from Pensacola, Fla., told SEC Country that Auburn and Florida are his leaders. He released a top 5 on Tuesday night that also included Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
Please leave the negative thoughts to yourself. Had to do what was best for me. Thanks everyone for the support. Top5️⃣ ??? pic.twitter.com/rwFYzRja7J
— Jacob Copeland ?? (@JCope5era) April 12, 2017
- Florida commit Divaad Wilson, a 3-star cornerback from Miami, received an offer Wednesday from Georgia.
— Divaad Wilson® (@NikemanNewt) April 12, 2017
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.