Robey hops on board early

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Buford (Ga.) teammates Omar Hunter and T.J. Pridemore aren’t the only two true freshmen who are enrolled in the Summer A semester at Florida. Also starting classes on Monday was offensive lineman Sam Robey from Trinity High School in Louisville, Ky.

Hunter, of course, is the highly rated defensive tackle whom Urban Meyer thinks will have a chance to start this season on the Gators’ relatively inexperienced defensive front. Pridemore also could get in the playing rotation at fullback, a position where UF currently has only one other scholarship player, redshirt freshman Steven Wilks, who made the move from outside linebacker this past spring.

Robey is considered a little bit more of a project. He was a defensive end in high school, but the Gators recruited him as an offensive guard or center, a position he has never played before.

Robey is the son of former Kentucky basketball star Rick Robey and has excellent bloodlines and moves extremely well for a kid his size (6-4, 275). Enrolling at UF more than a month earlier than the remainder of the true freshmen (they will arrive for Summer B in the first week of July) will give Robey a chance to gain some much-needed weight and strength ” and enhance his chances of competing for the backup role at center behind starter Maurkice Pouncey. The No. 2 job is pretty much wide open, so Robey has a chance if he gets a little bigger this summer and shows some agility in mat drills and other elements in the offseason conditioning program.

I saw Robey at the spring game and it appeared he had already bulked up some compared to the last time I saw him during UF’s pre-bowl practices last December. This kid seems serious about getting himself ready to compete.

Of the 22 players who signed with Florida back in February, 11 are already in class at UF and starting to gear up for the 2008 season.