Making a great first impression is important in all aspects of life.
It’s especially crucial for college coaches recruiting their top target at quarterback.
Judging by what Ryan Buchanan said Sunday, Florida coach Will Muschamp and new offensive coordinator Brent Pease passed that test with flying colors.
The three-star prospect from Jackson (Miss.) Prep made his first visit to UF this past weekend with his parents, brother and close friend.
“I loved it,” Buchanan said. “It was impressive from start to finish. I got to know coach Muschamp and coach Pease real well. We sat and talked for about four hours. Coach Muschamp was with me pretty much the whole time, which showed how much he wants me. Most places I’ve been to, you only see the head coach once or twice the whole time. I just loved the way he set it up professionally and everything about the city of Gainesville, too.”
“The coolest thing was walking out of the locker room into The Swamp, which was incredible for the first time to see it,” Buchanan said. “We were the only people in the stadium. I can’t even imagine what it’s like sold out with over 90,000 people in it. So that was the highlight — imagining myself scoring a touchdown and looking up to see the stands right on top of me in the end zone. It’s definitely an impressive stadium because of how close the fans are to the field. It’s cool to imagine I could play there.”
While The Swamp served as the “coolest” experience of his visit, sitting down with Pease was his favorite — and most helpful — part.
“Probably my favorite part of the visit,” he said, “was talking with coach Pease about his offense and watching what he did with Kellen Moore at Boise State last year. He’s an innovative guy and he runs a system similar to my high school. So he knows I’m going to be able prepare for every game. I’m smart enough to run his offense and that’s the thing he likes about me. He also likes that I’m an athletic quarterback from a physical standpoint and I can escape pressure.”
“The thought of committing probably crossed my mind three times,” Buchanan revealed. “The coaches didn’t push me, but I definitely felt some pressure because I know I’m the guy they want. That’s why Florida is in my top three schools and may be the one I pick in the end. I’m trying to make the decision as fast as possible. I’m going to talk to my coach about it and figure things out in the next two or three weeks, maybe sooner.”
The other finalists for Buchanan are Ole Miss and Tennessee, but most in the recruiting world believe he is down to the Gators and the Rebels. Buchanan, who says distance isn’t a factor for him, plans to visit Ole Miss this Friday.
“I’ve got to be as open minded as possible going into it and leaving,” Buchanan said of upcoming trip to Oxford. “Every school, once you leave, feels like that’s the school for you. So I have to take time after each visit to let things soak in. I know what I liked about Florida and what they have that Ole Miss doesn’t, and I know what Ole Miss has that Florida doesn’t. So I’m going to compare them and stay as open minded as possible.”
When Buchanan does make up his mind, there are two factors that will influence his decision the most.
“One of the top things is knowing that it’s the place for me and I want to wake up every morning and represent that university,” Buchanan said. “All the schools I’ve looked at have great offenses, but as a quarterback you want to have players around you so you can be successful. So that means a lot to me as well.”
The Gators also hosted quarterback Tim Boyle (Middletown, Conn./Xavier) this weekend. The three-star prospect did not make a commitment, but he said the visit went well and UF remains his leader. Should the coaches miss on Buchanan, they will turn up the heat on Boyle this summer.
Photos taken from Buchanan’s Facebook