Mooresville (NC) Lake Norman offensive tackle ethan calloway Kicked off his official visiting list this weekend with a trip south to Gainesville, Florida.
The Florida Gators may not have been able to make a stronger impression than they did on the recruit of the class of 2024, creating a mood throughout their three-day trip that hopes the next three schools on their list can replicate.
“They definitely set a very high standard and I really had a lot of fun,” Calloway said. all alligators after the visit. “This was the first of four. So, I was more excited that they set a standard, because this showed me what an official visit looks like.”
Football was not the only focus of Calloway’s tenure, however.
Instead, Calloway entered The Swamp with the intention of building strong personal relationships with the people he could surround himself with at the college level should he opt for UF late in his draft.
Florida’s coaching staff, from head coach Billy Napier to the Gators’ support staff, were “top of the line” in that regard.
“It didn’t feel like a recruiting trip, it didn’t feel like they were trying to sell me something,” Calloway said. “I really felt like I was on vacation, is the best way to put it. I mean, it helps that we’re in Florida, so it’s beautiful weather, but I didn’t feel like they were trying to tell me why I should play for them.
“I felt like they were really showing me how I could see myself fitting in here and just spending the next four or five years here.”
When it comes to the gridiron, though, Calloway has a couple of things that stand out about Florida.
First, Calloway highlighted the kind of recruiting the Gators are mustering in the current cycle.
Four of UF’s eight committed prospects were in town over the weekend along with Calloway and 12 other recruits, most notably the Gators’ prized quarterback promise. DJ Lagway. The signal sender himself made an effort to let the blocker know that he was needed.
“He kept saying he needed me here,” Calloway recalled of Lagway.
“They’re putting on a really good class, and there’s a chance this class could change the program for the better.”
Calloway’s adjustment along Florida’s offensive line is the other prominent factor in their on-field appeal against the Gators, which was covered on the trip.
Offensive line assistants Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton met with Calloway in person to discuss his skill set and how he would fit in with Florida’s future front five.
“I sat down with Coach Sale and Coach Stape and went through my film, how it translated into their schematics and their film,” Calloway explained. “And it just showed me why I’m being drafted out of the hundreds of thousands of other tackles.”
The 6-foot-7, 300-pound Calloway is considered the No. 19 offensive tackle and No. 208 overall prospect in the class of 2024, according to 247Sports composite rankings.
Coveted nationwide with 14 scholarship offers from Power 5 schools, Calloway narrowed his recruiting to eight programs in April.
However, Calloway admitted that his draft actually consists of four contenders: Florida, Georgia, Penn State and LSU. He will officially visit the Bulldogs (June 9-11), Nittany Lions (June 16-18) and Tigers (June 23-25) before the end of the month.
Following his successful trip to UF, Calloway will rate his next visits with the rubric the Gators naturally helped him create by receiving him first.
“With this final four situation that I’m in, this definitely gave them a statement in this whole process. Because, now I’m finally getting to that place where I can start to say ‘I like one place more than the other. ‘
“But Florida, they definitely got there.”
Calloway hopes to reach his college decision before Week 1 of his senior season at Lake Norman.