If you were the #1 rated quarterback coming out of high school where would you decide to play your college ball? Picking where to attend college is one of the most important parts of your life, this is especially true for student athletes with tremendous talent and endless amounts of potential. Student athletes have to weigh several topics before deciding what school is the best fit. Whether it be proximity to home, the coach, the school atmosphere, academics, weather, the program success, playing time, etc. I have decided to put myself in the shoes of a high school athlete, I am the #1 rated quarterback in the country and every coach wants me to play for their team, I have to decide where to go.
If I was the #1 quarterback in the country I would attend the University of Florida. Gator Nation has everything you could ever dream of for a college football player. I chose Florida because of their rich tradition, program success, conference, and their desperate need for a big time star to walk through the doors after Tebow’s departure. Imagine strapping up your shoulder pads in the Swamp and stepping onto the field to perform in front 88,000 fans all screaming your name. The feeling of playing for your school is much different in Gainesville, the Swamp is known as the toughest place to play in the country, a place where the home team feels comfortable and the visitors feel tentative. The Gators also play in a competitive league where I can showcase my talents on a national stage against the best teams in the country. Florida plays a tough schedule in which they reside in the same conference as top teams such as reigning National Champions Alabama and also the likes of LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Arkansas. There really isn’t a cup cake on the schedule. The past six years the national champ has come out of the SEC, that didn’t happen by accident, it’s where the best players in the country play and is clearly a notch above the other “power conferences”. An important reason to why I chose to be a Gator was to fill a void that has been lost since Tim Tebow graduated. Since Tebow’s departure Florida has been missing that superstar talent, superstar icon, don’t get me wrong I know Tebow’s shoes are tough to fill but I feel as if I’m prepared to take the torch and run with it. Another important aspect to look upon is my life after college football whether it be in the NFL or not. Florida is a great academic school, although it isn’t compared to top academic Universities such as Stanford. That is a lone negative that I find in my decision. However, there is no reason to why I won’t be able to make it to the pros. The Gators have soon changed from the Tebow style offense to a pro-style offense. Will Muschamp is the head honcho in Gator Nation, he is entering his second season as the Florida head football coach. Prior to becoming a Gator, Muschamp was defensive coordinator of the Texas Longhorns for three years. Muschamp is a part of the Nick Saban coaching tree, the two coached together at LSU where they won the National title in 2003. They also coached together at the pro ranks in 2005 with the Miami Dolphins. Because Muschamp is a defensive minded coach I will be doing most of my work with first year offensive coordinator Brent Pease. Before joining the University of Florida football program, Pease was the offensive coordinator/QB coach for Boise State University where he was extremely successful. Pease is a former NFL quarterback he played his pro ball for the Minnesota Vikings and Houston Oilers. Pease knows what it takes for me to take my talents to the next level. Early playing time is also essential to me, the Gators have three sophomores wearing the red shirts at practice with no clear cut starter. Therefore, I have a great opportunity to come in right away and get some serious playing time. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it is the best decision. You can’t go wrong becoming a Gator!
Other hats that were on my table on signing day:
The University of Miami
Florida State University
Oklahoma State University
Boy, I got really into that for a second there; little do you guys know I was an offensive tackle in high school.
-Conner Patch @connerpatch68