Photo by Rosemary White

The Inside Scoop: An in-depth, behind the scenes look at a Florida official visit

December 9, 2018
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Over the years we have talked to an endless number of prospects before and after their official visit to Florida for basically the same update over and over again. What did the coaches have to say to you? What was the highlight? What would you rate the visit on a scale of 1-to-10?

If you have ever actually wondered what goes on during an official visit, this Inside the Gators exclusive takes you behind the scenes of what happens Friday through Sunday on campus during an official visit weekend at the University of Florida.

Rosemary White, the mother of Florida offensive line commit Ethan White, was kind enough to share her experience with us through a detailed update combined with a photo blog. 

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FRIDAY 

We arrived to an amazing hotel room at the AC Marriott catered with all of Ethan’s and my favorite snacks! Our keys to our respective rooms were ready with no wait.

All weekend long we were chauffeured around like movie stars! After check-in and a little relaxation time we left the hotel to have light snacks in the President’s Suite in the Swamp. While we ate they played the season highlights on the video board.

After that we went on a tour of the Southwest Recreation Center and then went to dinner with the coaching and support staff at Ballyhoo. Dinner was all about bonding.  The visiting prospects with each other, the parents with each other as well as with the coaches.

After dinner the visiting prospects went out with their 'Big Brother' player hosts. They were given a strict 1:00 a.m. curfew so that they could get plenty of rest for a big day Saturday. While the players were out, the remaining family members spent time together.

Something I did not expect was the strong bond I immediately formed with the other moms.  It brought a real comfort knowing these moms and I were going to be friends and go through the next four years together.  We laughed, played games and rejoiced with each other.  Lee Davis-Begley, Operations of Recruiting Director made sure we wanted for nothing! Our driver was there every step of the way as well!

SATURDAY

Saturday was a full day!  We started off being bussed to breakfast in the Swamp and then a tour of the Hawkins Center where we were given academic presentations and met with professors. We then got a look at what life as a Gator is like as well as a nutrition presentation. 

Next we got to watch a basketball game, had another amazing lunch, this time in the IPF, and watched the football team practice!

The visitors met with Coach Mullen after some late afternoon free time. Then the real fun began Saturday night with the photo shoots. That’s when mom got to have some fun too! I’ll admit that I cried as I watched my son come out in that Gator gear.  After that they showed us the strength program and then we had dinner in the Champions Club.

It is a happy, as well as a sad, moment knowing your little boy is no longer a little boy, and is leaving you.  He, as well as many of the other boys who visited, will have a great start since they graduate early and will be there in January.

SUNDAY 

This was a much shorter day for us because we arrived Friday early afternoon, by NCAA rules we had to depart campus by Sunday early afternoon. The  day consisted of another amazing breakfast, necessary paperwork, meetings with both John Hevesy and Dan Mullen and then the drive home...knowing that in less then 27 days when I come back, I will be less one child at home.

(No photos today. I didn’t want to take pictures inside the coaches’ offices)

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