For whatever the reason, most recruiting pundits are of the opinion that Florida is the leader for Apopka junior offensive tackle Martez Ivey.
“Oh really … Florida?” Ivey said Sunday, a day after taking an unofficial visit to Gainesville for Florida’s season-ending loss to rival Florida State 37-7 at The Swamp. “Well they can believe whatever they want to believe, I guess. I have no favorites.”
Ivey, the No. 2-ranked offensive tackle in the country and No. 1-ranked player overall in the state of Florida by 247Sports.com, kind of shrugs off the attention about his recruitment.
“I don’t talk much about it really,” said Ivey on Sunday, “I’m not really worried about it.”
He said no schools currently stand out for him because he’s had little contact in the recruiting process.
“I haven’t talked to any schools almost this whole season,” Ivey said. “Basically I tell them I’m not really going to talk to them during football season. I still got a whole year. I’m not going to worry about it.”
Right now Ivey and the rest of his Apopka teammates are more concerned about Friday night’s state semifinal matchup at Tampa Plant. The Darters are one win away from getting back to the Class 8A state title game, which Apopka won last year 53-50 over Weston Cypress Bay.
Ivey and teammate FB-TE Chandler Cox were at The Swamp on Saturday to witness the end of a disappointing 4-8 season for the Florida Gators, and Ivey said he wasn’t surprised by the way the game went.
“I already knew what to expect,” Ivey said,. “I expected Florida to hang in there first quarter, then after that I knew it was going to get away ... especially after Trey Burton got hurt.”
Speaking of injuries, that’s exactly what Florida head coach Will Muschamp talked about with Ivey and Cox when the duo visited Muschamp’s office following the game.
“It was great,” Ivey said of his chat with Muschamp. “He was talking about how all their starters got hurt this year and just how it was a bad season and whatever, and how they’re going to rebuild off of it for next year.”
And the Gators would love to have Ivey to build an offensive line around in the future.
“They said, ‘What am I waiting for?’ ” Ivey laughed, referring to UF coaches asking him why he wasn’t a Gators commit already.
It’s certainly obvious UF is going to recruit the 6-foot-6, 280-pounder with emphasis.
“Oh yes,” Ivey said.
He also said UF’s current season doesn’t have much reflection on how he feels about the possibility of attending a college, whether it be UF or any other struggling team. Ivey said even at a struggling program it’s not automatic that any player will step in and play early.
“Not really. I don’t think about it like that because no matter where you go you’re still going to have to fight for a position anyway,” he said.
But presented with a scenario of two teams, one a struggling program and one that is vying for a national title – say, perhaps, like UF and FSU – Ivey said there would definitely be a team with a recruiting advantage.
“That would be a no-brainer right there,” Ivey laughed.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting, Instagram at os_recruiting and on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.