Colin Thompson is rated the No. 3 tight end in the nation by one scouting service. But for the Florida Gators, he might as well be No. 1.
Thompson, a 6-foot-5, 255-pounder from Warminster, Pa., has the size and blocking ability the Gators crave for their pro-style offense.
UF has redshirt sophomore Jordan Reed, redshirt freshman Gerald Christian, redshirt freshman Michael McFarland and true freshman A.C. Leonard as scholarship tight ends on the roster.
None are what you would call an true in-line blocker, rather they are more of the pass-catching types.
Thompson offers both, which means Florida coaches are pushing hard and offering the chance to compete for early playing time.
When Thompson visited with his father and high school coach in mid-February, he was awed by his first impression.
“The first time I got to Florida, I walked right in the doors, saw all the national championships,” he said. “I went right in to Coach (Charlie) Weis’ office. Boom. Him and Urban Meyer were sitting down, doing x’s and o’s.
“That was my first experience. Two masterminds of the game in one room. It was kind of overwhelming.”
Those heavyweights rendered Thompson somewhat speechless, but he returned to Gainesville two weekends ago, this time with his mother, and talked extensively with Weis.
“I sat down and talked to him and broke things down, and he’s just a great guy,” Thompson said. “I guess there’s kind of a bond, because I’ve been told by people I’m the No. 1 pro-style tight end in the country, No. 3 tight end overall. That’s a great honor. And to be offered by Charlie Weis is another great honor for a tight end. So I’m definitely excited about it.
“I was told they’re going to try to build their offense around the tight end position, blocking at the point of attack.”
Thompson also bonded with Florida tight ends coach Derek Lewis and head coach Will Muschamp.
“Derek Lewis is a very fiery coach, something I’m very interested in,” Thompson said. “He’s crazy in a great way.
“Coach Muschamp is a gentleman. He’s a great coach and a leader. I really like those guys a lot, and I’d be honored to be able to play for them someday.”
Thompson had planned to narrow down a list of his top schools, but instead became so certain of his choice he decided to announce his verbal commitment in a ceremony at his high school on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
“Why wait?” he said Wednesday. “Why extend this craziness? It’s pretty hectic. So it’s nice to get it over with. I’m very confident with my choice.”
Stay tuned to Gatorsports.com and my Twitter page to see who Thompson picks on Thursday.