GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Auburn and Florida are competing for another elite offensive tackle recruit from the Orlando area.
In the 2015 cycle, the two schools went head-to-head for Apopka’s Martez Ivey, who chose the Gators on signing day.
Now Florida is trying to flip five-star prospect Calvin Ashley, who committed to Auburn last spring. The nation’s No. 2 offensive tackle from Orlando (Fla.) First Academy visited UF on Saturday.
“It was great,” Ashley said. “I got here, the coaches welcomed me in. It’s just great to be back here. It’s a short ride.
“I really like Florida and the facilities. It’s just beautiful. They’ve got a great indoor facility they just built.”
Ashley described this trip to Florida as “different” than his previous ones. The 6-foot-6, 330-pounder said he got a better feel for the program and spent more one-on-one time with Gators coach Jim McElwain and his staff.
“Coach Mac, we sat down and talked about life and just football and being here at Florida, new things they’ve got going,” he said. “And they want to win a national championship.
“I got to sit down and talk to the coaches more, got to go through plays and stuff, got to actually talk to the whole coaching staff individually. It was a great thing to do with my parents.”
Ashley said the highlight of the trip was spending time with offensive line coach Mike Summers, who expressed the need for him along the offensive line.
“I want to get in and compete. That’s a big thing with me,” Ashley said. “He’s got two tackles right now, and he plays them young, so it’s great. We had a nice discussion.
“Coach Summers is a great coach and he has a lot of guys in the NFL. He’s been coaching for 30 years and was with the (Atlanta) Falcons, so it’s nice.”
Distance is a factor that could potentially work in Florida’s favor. Ashley and his family like the idea of being close to home.
“It’s like an hour and a half away,” Ashley said of UF. “That’s the big thing with my parents, it’s a short ride. That’s a big part.”
Ashley is also looking at Alabama, Florida State and Miami. Where do things stand with his pledge?
“I’m still 100 percent committed to Auburn, but signing day is not yet,” he said. “I’m just going to wait and see. Right now I’m committed to Auburn, so it’s that for right now.”
I'm really feeling it here at Florida ?
— Calvin Klein (@whiteboii_Cali) February 20, 2016