Sarvary enjoying time at center

The Gators simply weren’t productive enough at center behind Max Garcia, forcing the coaching staff to make a change. They pushed junior college transfer Drew Sarvary inside, and the move looks to be paying off.

The Tyler Junior College transfer just completed his first week at center -- of his entire life. It’s not exactly a compliment to the rest of the depth at the center position, but the Gators needed to get more production at the position just in case starter Max Garcia gets hurt this season.

Sarvary turned heads on the coaching staff during his time at guard and tackle in camp, and they wanted to see if he could handle the move to center. It’s a lot to throw on a player in his first year at Florida, but the early returns are positive.

“It’s going well,” Drew Sarvary said. “I like it. It’s a little different, brings new challenges. It definitely motivates me more. Wherever they needed me. That’s where coach came up to me and told me, ‘Do you want to try out center?’ I was like, ‘I’ll do whatever you need.’ So, that’s where they’ve got me.”

It’s that selfless attitude that could earn him snaps on the field this season, or even next year when Garcia is gone and the Gators will need a new center. There are adjustments that come with the move. There’s more leadership expected from the center, getting the line in the right protections before the snap is made.

After that is set, he has to get the ball back to the quarterback while also getting in position to block the defensive lineman inches away from him.

“I played guard and tackle before, and you don’t really have a guy that close to you,” Sarvary said. “When you’re playing center, you have a guy that’s probably six inches away. At guard, you’re probably a foot-plus back. It’s a lot different playing with someone right up in your face.”

Snapping is also an adjustment. Garcia had issues with it in the spring during his first period of practices after making the move, but he eventually got the issues ironed out and is comfortable with it. Sarvary expects to do the same as he continues to get practice reps with the second team.

"It's going good,” Sarvary said. “I haven't had too many mess-ups. It's not as hard as everyone thinks it is. It's almost like golf. You've got to do the same repetitions every time and it'll right back to the quarterback."

His path to Florida wasn’t as easy as some of his teammates. Sarvary started at Florida A&M and started as a true freshman, playing at Oklahoma in the first game of his college career. After the year, he decided Florida A&M wasn’t the place for him and elected to leave.

He went the JUCO route, playing at Tyler Junior College while his recruitment started to take off. Sarvary was once committed to Texas Tech before Will Muschamp started to recruit him to Florida. Once the offer came, it wasn’t much of a decision.

“He expressed his need on the offensive line,” said Sarvary, whose sister also goes to Florida. “It was close to home, so it was just a good fit. It was just everything. Everything became a factor. It was closer to home. It was easier on my parents. I just felt at home here.”

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