Athletic DE Tevin Westbrook is a Gator
By BOB REDMAN
Feb. 1, 2011
They just don't grow them on trees like Tevin Westbrook. The 6-6, 235 pound defensive end is still growing but is one of the more athletic big players in the class of 2011.
His lack of football experience kept some schools away, but the potential for Westbrook seems through the roof and the Gators loved what they saw in him according to Roland Nottage, the head coach at Coconut Creek (Fla.) North Broward Prep.
Coach Nottage can't say enough about Westbrook and what he will bring to the Florida Gators as they try and top off their 2011 recruiting class.
"He is a great kid with great character. 6-6, 265 and moves very well for his size," Nottage said Tuesday after Westbrook's commitment to Florida broke. "He's been a basketball player most of his life and played football for the last 2-1/2 years. He is explosive off the ball, but has a lot to learn about the game."
Florida was on him quickly even though the defensive staff was not entirely put together until a little over two weeks ago. They saw enough athletic ability in Westbrook to know he was a big target that they needed.
"The staff just got put together this past month, I think they were intrigued by his size and the way he moves," Nottage said. "A month ago he slam dunked the basketball and shattered the backboard. Everyone is so intrigued and that is when they started recruiting him. They realize he is young in experience in football but see the potential with being an athlete with that size."
Nottage believes Westbrook will need a year to get prepared to play in the SEC, but loves the staff that Florida has put together with defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Dan Quinn and assistant defensive line coach Bryant Young. The Gators have recruited Westbrook as both an end and a tackle and will wait to see where he ends up.
"I think it will be a year development, but it is going to be how quickly he will learn," Nottage said. "I think the staff that Coach Muschamp has put together he will learn a lot. I saw when he first met Coach Young and he just respected him and liked him immediately. He will be a defensive end or defensive tackle."
There were a few things that won over Westbrook to the Gators. The bottom line seemed to be his future teammates.
"I think he was very impressed with the staff and the overall atmosphere at Florida," Nottage said. "He likes the academics and more than anything he really liked the teammates he is going to have. He saw what they were all about and felt like he could relate to them. He just liked the guys on the team and that is great."
At a huge position of need, Florida feels like they landed a prospect that will be a big help down the road. Stay tuned as we hear more from Westbrook in the next few days.
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