Imatorbhebhe gets birthday visit from McElwain

Florida is a finalist for Daniel Imatorbhe (middle right). (Photo courtesy of Imatorbhehe)

Tight end Daniel Imatorbhehe turned 18 on Tuesday and received a birthday visit from new Florida coach Jim McElwain.

The 6-foot-4, 227-pounder from Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett hosted McElwain at his house along with UF secondary coach Travaris Robinson.

“It went good,” Imatorbhehe said. “He came over with coach T-Rob and let me know more about himself. I know all about the University of Florida, so he wanted me to learn about him, his offensive scheme and what he plans to do with the program.

“He’s a great guy. I was impressed on a lot of different levels with him. He just seems real and down to earth. It was a nice birthday present getting to meet him.”

McElwain and Robinson also met with Daniel’s brother, 2016 wide receiver Josh Imatorbhehe, who already holds more than a dozen offers, including one from Florida.

McElwain told the pass-catching siblings they’re top priorities for him.

“He said he has to be focused on the short term,” the three-star tight end said. “Right now it’s about getting some new Gators for next season. After that, he’ll evaluate the talent that’s there and put together his playbook based on what kind of players he has. But he wants to get the University of Florida back to what it was doing in its heyday, which was dominating every aspect of the game.”

Offense is one aspect the Gators have severely struggled with, and McElwain discussed his plans to fix that side of the ball.

“The offense is predicated on adjusting every week to what the defense is doing and then attacking their weak spot,” Imatorbhebhe said. “It’s a pro-style offense that prepares you for the next level, but his scheme has a lot of spread elements to it as well. Everything is based on players’ strength and matchup problems for the defense.

“He talked about the role I’d be playing. I’m the guy that motions across and gets mismatches in the passing game, just someone who makes the defense uncomfortable. It sounded good.”

Imatorbhebhe plans to enroll early next month, and Cal, Florida and Ohio State appear to be his favorites at this time. After Tuesday’s visit, he can see himself playing for McElwain.

“Yeah, I do,” Imatorbhehe said. “This visit definitely helped their chances. Any time the head coach comes to your house, the program is serious about you.

“Obviously he’s busy right now with his new job, putting together his staff and trying to get commitments, which I think he’ll do. It’s just going to take time. But I really appreciate him coming to see me.”

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  1. other than that, I like our new coach..what other choice do we have? we must get behind him & let him know that we’re wanting him to be successful which I think he will. And shame on WM for talking that trash about having a loaded roster ready for the new coach. That is one poopy offense we have & it will take some time to coach em up. Lets pray driskell will see that his time has passed & not waste the staff’s valuable time trying to sort it all out next spring with him in the mix. Surely by now Coach Mac knows driskell is washed up.I look for Grier to start next year. He is much more capable mentally & has a rocket arm..


  3. I hope someone says yes to UF very soon. FSU just got another mega recruit, hell their early enrolllees are better than UF’s entire class right now by a mile. Can someone like Ivey who keeps flirting with UF finally put on the ring? Just like a football game, the downward momentum of this class needs to be stopped. How about someone McElwain visits doing something more than saying how impressed they are? If you’re really impressed, do something! UF is dying right now and standing around watching this class die while saying how healthy UF looks is killing me.

  4. AUX2 I agree and hope coach Mac is pushing some of these big time recruits to go ahead and commit. This would get some momentum for this class. I mean if Cowart, Jefferson and Ivey would all pull the trigger this class would take off. However I will give Ivey a pass on that this week. He is playing for a state title this Saturday and sure he is focused on that right now. Go Apopka Hoka Hey!

  5. Aux, this is one of few times I can say this, but I agree. We’ve heard all about how Jefferson and Cowart, and possibly even Ivey, know they’re going to be Gators and are just waiting for the big stage to announce. Well if you truly know you want to be a Gator, it’s time to commit NOW. I know committing on the big stage with all the cameras around is exciting, but when your team is struggling like this, you gotta put self aside and do what’s best for the time. What’s best for the team is a couple big names committing to sway the momentum in our favor! Go gators!

  6. Anyone else get a chance to check out Garrett Grayson, Dee Hart, and Rashard Higgins? I tell ya what if that doesn’t get you excited for Treon Harris/Will Grier, Kelvin Taylor, and Demarcus Robinson, I don’t know what will! If McElwain can get those guys to put up those numbers, imagine what our guys will be doing! Business is about to pick up, boys!

  7. You guys are comical… First week on the job, and its already a crisis, not a big enough name for a hire, recruiting is not top 10, coach is too fat… The worst part is you’ve probably never played the game, especially at my beloved swamp, yet you have all the answers for what it will take to turn the program around. This Coach has forgot more about the game, than you’ll ever know, and won and won big everywhere he has been. Changing the culture and winning takes time, 3 years or more. Give it a chance and support the Gator nation, or get the hell out of the way… Go Gators!

  8. Absolutely right Gatorman! Sadly loons like James and Stan will never know enough about the game to actually know McElwain has every indication of being a great hire or to put together any facts as to why he wouldn’t. It’s just plain sad.

  9. Dynamic hire! Good recruiting outcomes will follow. January will bring a spate of verbals, including a few big ones, then a strong close. Prospects can look at our roster and see opportunities almost everywhere for very early playing time. Further, the attractiveness of the university and academic quality, the chance to play in an iconic stadium they’ve heard about all their lives, and being at one of the most enduring programs in the country ‘a best conference are all strong pulls. There are sufficient numbers of good to great prospects who want to go to the University of Florida and have only been waiting for our coaching situation to be settled. Our future is bright.

  10. I can’t remember such a low interest in a new hire- no publicity overall, recruits are turning their heads, recruiting at Colorado State is quite different- the pressure is on to get some highly rated verbals- recruiting as an assistant is also quite different. McElwain’s first evaluation will be done after signing day- nobody is expecting a top 10 class but he has to bring in a respectable class- otherwise it will setback the program even more.

  11. Recruiting isn’t everything… The last three years Florida’s recruiting classes have been ranked #3, #4 and #8 (Rivals)… And where has that gotten us? I think/hope that McElwain is the type of coach who develops talent and can turn a 2 or 3 star on paper, into a 4 star on the field.

  12. One thing I’m curious about and don’t know the answer to is this: William Sweet, an offensive tackle that was committed to North Carolina signed a grant-in-aid to North Carolina tonight. Why this was news was that it was thought he would flip to LSU, but the report says him signing the grant-in-aid seals the deal. This was also a guy that UF was hoping to flip. Does that mean that someone is obligated to a school by signing a grant-in-aid? Or is the player still available and the wrong conclusion was reached in saying that he’s locked into North Carolina now? My guess is that he’s an early enrolle, but I didn’t think they were locked up until early January.

  13. What did we expect? A guy that none of these recruits has ever heard of is going to turn things around immediately? It’s not going to happen, at least in recruiting. It’s time to just accept the fact that UF is going to have a bad recruiting year, at least relative to what UF normally can expect. Having two poor years in a row and having to fire a coach is not a recipe for success. If there is any good news before Dec. !5, that’s a plus. If Dillon stays, that’s a plus. Hopefully UF can get some players to fill the huge need at linebacker, quarterback, running back, and offensive line. The offensive line is already looking good and if Ivey comes on board, it will be very good. It seems like McElwain is still whale hunting, maybe it’s time to go after smaller fish that can actually be caught. I think, for instance, going after George Campbell is a waste of time. It’s nice to have high aspirations, bu it might be time to accept the fact that UF is not somewhere recruits are lining up to go to right now. Next year? Go after everyone, especially if UF looks like it’s getting better and has a better record than 6-5.

  14. Sorry but I think think this whole T-Rob thing is a bit overrated. He is good recruiter and players like him but bottom line is a secondary coach is replaceable. May lose a few recruits this year but I don’t agree with Zach about giving this guy a huge raise as a position coach.

  15. It looks like Robinson is following his boss to Auburn. Anyway, who are all these great players that Robinson has brought to UF? I see one, Dalvin Cook, that’s better than any offensive player on UF’s roster at FSU, not UF.

  16. Well if ntblahblah says that T Rob is no good I guess it must be true! I mean forget about what coaches or anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about says. Forget how sought after he is! hahaha smh

  17. Did anyone not think Will Muschamp would land as DC somewhere else in the SEC? Or that if he did, Robinson would likely follow him? This might hurt us with a couple of recruits, especially Martez Ivey who is rumored to be torn between Auburn and UF. However, Ivey’s indicated his heart is in Gainesville where the new coach will install a pro set with spread offense. Any recruiting setbacks will be shortlived. Our recruiting is in the depths this year because of Muschamp’s shortcomings as a head coach. I have hoped we could retain TRob, but how much did Muschamp himself impact player development in the secondary and how much was Robinson? We’ll be okay.


    The Gator AD is incompetent, he’s never made a good hire.
    The Gator 2015 roster is empty of any real football players.
    The old and the new Gator HBC’s are both incompetent losers.
    The Gator fans will never attend another game, but many of them will continue to whine.
    The SWAMP has been drained, paved over, and is now a student parking lot.
    Doooom – Dess-pairr – PAIN and AG-GO-KNEE….. (guess I’ll go eat some worms)
    End of Story,,, so no further need of the phootball page in the Sun’s Sports Page….. ;~)