Class of 2024 Quick Q&A: Highly sought after lineman goes in-depth on Florida visit

Mar 14, 2023 | 1 comment

(Photo courtesy Fletcher Westphal)

Leesburg (Va.) Tuscarora four-star offensive lineman Fletcher Westphal is one of the most sought-after prospects in the nation, with an early Top 13 consisting of the likes of Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, and others.

The 6-foot-8, 330-pounder visited Florida on Saturday, where he got a chance to see the Gators practice, tour the campus and more.


Who came with you on your visit to Florida and what was it like?
“My mom and dad were with me. They want to learn as much as they can about the school, parent support, personnel development and academics.”

What took place during the visit?
“My day started at 8:30 a.m. with weigh in and measurements. I came in at 6-foot-8, 334-pounds. I joined the offensive line to watch film and got to see how the coaches tested their play knowledge. After that I watched practice. I met with strength Coach [Mark] Hocke to learn how he works their players and sets specific goals. I also got to tour the business school and learn more about their classes and opportunities. After lunch we met one on one with Coach [Rob] Sale and Coach [Darnell] Stapleton about their layered coaching approach for the offensive line. Finally, I finished the day with Coach [Billy] Napier, where he emphasized his expectations and where he’s going with the program.”

What coach or coaches did you speak with the most?
“I spent the most time with Coach Sale. He reiterated that I’m a priority recruit and how I will be developed from day one with the Gators. A clear sign is his visits to my school in Virginia. There were two visits in January and he told me he’s coming back for a spring practice. To me he’s already investing in me. I also got to talk with some of the players, which gives the best perspective of what it’s like being a Gator.”

Florida is unique in that they have two offensive line coaches. What does that mean to a lineman?
“Simple. There’s more opportunity for development.”

What was your impression of the Florida staff this early on in your process?
“From day one it’s been all in. Since they offered me, it’s been all gas with consistent communication, visits when possible and mail to my home.”

What was the highlight of the visit?
“I really liked watching the two coach dynamic. I liked how they build off of each other and they always have eyes on you during practice! All NFL teams are structured this way, so it makes sense why Coach Napier has two coaches.”

What are your thoughts on Florida’s new football facility?
“New, modern and they check all the boxes of what is expected of a Power 5 program.”

What are your thoughts about Florida after taking this visit?
“I liked everything about their football program, the overall facilities, the student apartments, and their academics. Definitely positive thoughts throughout my recruiting process, they are a strong contender. This time I spent more time exploring Gainesville too.”

Now that you’ve been to Florida, do you have any other spring visits scheduled?
“Florida kicked off my spring visits. I’ve got 10 schools to go. My goal is to see how the coaches interact with the players, see and feel the team culture. Also a lot of my previous visits have been on a game day or off-season so its good to be able to interact with players, see interactions up close and active campus life.”

Do you have a return visit to Florida scheduled?
“I’m not sure. My goal this spring is to narrow to my top five and to take my official visits in June.”

It’s still early for you, but do you have any leaders?
“My Top 10 are my leaders (see tweet below) with three late comers – Florida State, Kansas, and Michigan. No matter what, my goal this spring is to narrow to my top five and to take my official vsiits in June.”

Are there a couple of programs that you know will be there until the very end?
“I can’t say.”

What will be important to you when you make your decision?
“I’ve visited and done my homework to get my Top 10. At this point, the coaching style, depth chart and team culture will raise and lower teams on my list.”

Westphal is the No. 181 ranked prospect in the nation according to the On3 Consensus.


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