Getting to Know: Fletcher Westphal

by Alyssa Britton-Harr
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Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

The four-star Leesburg, Virginia offensive tackle Fletcher Westphal had his official visit to the University of Florida on June 16, 2023 followed by his recruitment from Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton. Westphal then committed to the Florida Gators less than a month later July 10, 2023.

Inside the Gators, Alyssa Britton-Harr got to know Westphal and his journey on becoming part of Gator Nation, in this edition of Getting to Know.


Take us through the process that led to your commitment. What was that experience like for you?

“I have probably done the most visits out of any recruit, I have visited 91 colleges total, so I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted to go to a school that had checked every box because I had seen everything, so when I headed around Florida a little later I went on a two day visit, it was a game day visit against South Carolina and then I did a normal visit the day after. After that happened I was sold, and they made the top ten and the top five and in the end Florida hit every box. I was on vacation before I committed and I had no idea where I wanted to go, and I sat and thought about it. When we got back from vacation I told my parents and then I called Coach Napier and Coach Sale.”

What stood out to you about the new facility?

“I have seen so many facilities that for me as long as they have what I need and it’s not an old facility, obviously Florida’s is brand new and they have everything that you could want. Facilities were never a big thing for me because I have seen every facility in college football.”

What was the most appealing part to you about the University of Florida?

“For me it’s the people, you got Coach Napier and Coach Sale, the whole weight room staff, and everyone. The player development staff and the people at the University of Florida are amazing. The fact that it is in the SEC in the South and has that southern hospitality. Me and my family just moved to St. Pete, so we have a house here and it has been amazing here.”

Which school came in second for you and why?

“Clemson because I mention people, and they are big on all that too. They didn’t have everything though, the education there, if we break down the business school, I believe UF is top five and Clemson’s is ranked 96. I had to give my parents six reasons for the top three schools, because it was Arkansas, Clemson, and Florida. I remember education was one of the points I brought up, Clemson is more of an engineering school I guess and that’s not what I want to go to college for, so the school wasn’t a fit. I couldn’t fall in love with the town of Clemson. To me it wasn’t what I was really looking for at all.”

What is your favorite football memory?

“Definitely, practicing on Thanksgiving. Every time we make a regional championship we practice on Thanksgiving. It has only happened twice in my football career, but going in on a Thursday morning is surreal.”

What would you say are some of your greatest strengths as a football player?

“I pride myself in playing until the echo of the whistle, now at UF I won’t be playing on both sides of the ball like I did in high school, I didn’t get off the field that much, so it was almost like I would reserve myself on defense so I would play harder on offense. In college ball I don’t want to do that, I want to play until the echo of the whistle on every play, and enjoy myself out there. Football is all about having fun beating the person in front of you, and you learn as you play and get better.”

What do you really need to work on the most when you get to Florida?

“Number one with going in as an early enrollee is getting as strong as possible in the offseason, getting ready for the season and working on injury prevention. I want to go in and know I am strong enough to block the dude in front of me, and when I am trying my best I have a low chance at getting injured. Number two is just getting better and with the great staff to help with everything I will need.”

Who is the prospect that you have talked to the most from the Class of 2024?

“Probably the one I talk to the most is DJ Lagway, but all the guys are great.”


What is your major?

“I want to pursue Business Marketing.”

What’s your favorite quality in a teammate?

“Being accountable, if you are accountable to me, is one of the biggest things.”

Who are you looking forward to playing alongside? Or getting to know on the team?

“The entire offensive line, you got Austin Barber and all those guys, I hung out with them on my official visit. They are all great.”

What is your favorite professional football team?

“My favorite team is the Ravens. Originally, I was a Washington Redskins fan and then I realized when I was little this team was not good at all. The Ravens were better at the time, so I switched bandwagons, and then never switched back.”

Who is your favorite professional football player right now? Why?

CJ Stroud, I like what he is doing for the Texans. I know he is not an offensive lineman, but seeing him play and what he is doing, I really like what he is doing for the team.”

Is there a person, sports personality or not, that has had an influence on your life?

“My parents but other than that I pretty much eat, sleep, and play sports.”

What would be your first purchase if you got drafted by the NFL?

“I probably would just put it all away, even right now I have all that I need. Maybe just buy a house in the city where I get drafted to.”

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

“Hopefully in the NFL, but if not then working whatever job I get through internships at Florida that allow me to see the job opportunities I have and monopolize on one of those.”

If you had a chance to spend the day with a celebrity, who would it be?

“If I had to go eat dinner with a celebrity it would be Lebron James.”

What is one item that you cannot live without? Why?

“Probably my phone because I am always on it.”

What are your favorite types of music? Do you have a favorite artist or song?

“I like hip-hop like most people, my favorite artist is Huncho.”

What is your favorite movie?

“The Equalizer 3 I watched it with my mom and the entire series. I like this movie a lot. I only really like action movies, otherwise I will fall asleep during them.”

What is your favorite TV show?

“I am about to watch Tulsa King because I have a lot of free time right now, I feel like I have to watch a show. I have seen all the previews and to me it looks interesting.”

If you could spend an entire day with anyone in history, who would that be?

“In history probably one of the past presidents, maybe George Washington.”

Orange or Blue?

“I would choose Orange.”

Favorite flavor of Gatorade?

“Anything but orange and yellow, probably the white one, Glacier Cherry.”

What is one thing about you that Gator Nation would be surprised to find out about?

“I know how to cook even though they probably already know that. All I do is play football, eat, play video games, and watch film. In my house, typically when dinner time comes around I usually make dinner, it’s been like that for the past year.”

What’s your message to Gator Nation?

“I am ready and prepared, I am ready to come in and start working to get better, and help the games get back to where they are supposed to be.”

Leave a message for your future self.

“Don’t be complacent, just keep on working.”

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