Chris Scott was impressed by Coach Meyer

Chris Scott was impressed by Coach Meyer

SAN ANTONIO --- Two days after leaving Gainesville, Chris Scott still has a glow about him. The 6-5, 315-pound offensive lineman who is rated number ten in the nation at his position by Scout.com. Scott did his official visit to the University of Florida last weekend and the impression was positive in every aspect.

"Gainesville is one lovely place," said Scott, who will start at left tackle for the East in the US Army All-American Bowl Game which will be played at the Alamo Dome Saturday afternoon. "All those Gators love their football team and their university. They made me feel right at home, and I left thinking that Gainesville's a great place. On a scale of one to ten, I'd say the visit was a ten-plus."

Scott has turned in dominating performances in practice the first two

Pursued by every big time program in the nation because of his combination of athletic skills and strong academic background, he has narrowed the choices down to Florida and Tennessee. He says he is not ready to announce his final choice this week because he needs a little bit of time to make a final, complete evaluation of both schools, but Florida had everything he was looking for.

In terms of football, he knows that both Florida and Tennessee will have outstanding teams that will compete at the highest levels, so which school gets that final edge might be determined by academic issues. He plans to major in engineering. During his visit to UF, he spent a good bit of time talking with professors at the engineering school.

"That engineering department down there just stood out for me," said Scott, whose wide, easy grin and cheerful personality wins people over instantly. "It ranks up there with the Georgia Techs of the world, and that's good. It puts them in a very good spot.

"I spent time with one of the main people in the engineering department and he loves what he does. All the people in the engineering department at Florida seem that way and I liked that a lot."

The intensity for the academics has been instilled in him since he was just a little boy. He credits his family for making certain he got a strong background early on so he could have the kind of foundation he will need to succeed at the college level.

"My mom, dad, grandparents, I love 'em all and they always made me do my homework and keep up with my school work," he said. "They put the desire in me when I was just a kid to go to college and be successful."

The college education will give him what he needs to have success in life beyond football, but he would love to see how far football can take him. Playing in the Army All-American game is allowing him a chance to see how he stacks up against top flight competition.

"This game is great for me since it's got the best players in the whole nation," he said. "Just being here and playing with them helps me get that much closer to where I want to be someday. This has been a great experience."

His roommate this week is Michael Oher, the 6-5, 340-pound guard from Memphis Briarcrest who has narrowed his choices to LSU and Tennessee with LSU in a slight lead.

"It's two very big bodies in one room," said Scott. "We make the room look pretty small when we're in there together."

During his visit to Florida, he finally had a chance to meet Coach Urban Meyer in person. Sitting down with Meyer opened his eyes further about the coach.

"I already knew he was a great coach but when I sat down with him and talked to him the first time, it was one of the best experiences I've had," he said. "He's really an excellent man who is straightforward and very honest in everything that he does.

"I didn't know much about him as a person until I visited Gainesville, but now that I've met him, I can see how serious he is about his job and about making players the best they can be in football and in life. He's a lot of fun, too."

Chris Scott was initially recruited to UF by running backs Coach Mike Locksley who is considering a move to the University of Illinois where he has been offered the job as offensive coordinator on Coach Ron Zook's staff. Asked if Locksley's possible departure would influence his decision, Scott said, "I really don't think so. Florida's a great school and Coach Meyer's a great coach. I think that will be what decides if I go to Florida."

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is played in San Antonio, Texas., at the Alamodome on Jan. 15, 2005, and broadcast nationally on NBC at 1 p.m. EST. Scout.com is a sponsor, the official selection partner and exclusive on-line partner of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, as well as the associated U.S. Army Combine for underclassmen.

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