Four-star recruit Fletcher Westphal of Leesburg (Va.) Tuscarora signed his National Letter of Intent with Florida on Wednesday, which is National Signing Day. Here’s everything you need to know about him.
Position: Offensive tackle
Height/Weight: 6-foot-8 /335 pounds
On3 Industry Rankings: No. 177 overall, No. 14 OT, No. 4 in Virginia.
Commitment date: 7/10/23
Chose Florida over: Clemson, Arkansas
Time of enrollment: January
Westphal says: “Really, out of my top five, every school had the facilities and I loved the coaches at all the schools, but Florida had the best academics out of all the places. I liked the coaches at Florida and blended the best with the players. I got along the best with the players at Florida.
Even though the transfer portal is a thing, the players are more likely to stay than the coaches. Even if somehing happens and let’s say coach Napier has to go somewhere, hopefully I can look to my right and my right guard is still there. It’s one of those things where you can kind of prevent your own players from going.
The players are the people who you are going to be around the most at college. Them, the weight-room coaches and your positional coach; that is who you are going to be around the most.”
Notable: Westphal played on both lines of scrimmage in high school. He moved to Florida (St. Petersburg) with his parents earlier this month — just one day after playing his final high school game in Virginia.
Social Media: Twitter (@FletcherWestph1) Instagram (@fletcher_westphal)
What the Gators are getting in Fletcher Westphal
Scouting report: The first thing that stands out is Westphal’s prototypical size. This is a massive prospect in the trenches who has the makeup of a Power 5 starter at left or right tackle.
While Westphal does not possess a whole lot of bad weight, he does have to get stronger. Offensive linemen are rarely relied upon their freshman year, so Westphal has plenty of time to reshape his frame and get stronger up top.
At this stage, Fletcher might be more effective as a run blocker. He makes full use of his size by leaning on defenders and pumps his legs until the whistle is blown.
In pass pro, Westphal has a strong initial punch to knock the defender off path. He does a good job of sitting in his stance and creating a wall, although technique is something to work on moving forward.
You also have to take notice of Westphal’s effectiveness as a defensive lineman. He was disruptive and relentless when breaking through the line of scrimmage. You could make the arguement that Fletcher is a better player on defense but a much better college prospect on offense. There is a lot to like when watching him operate along the interior. He is a load to deal with.
All in all, there are not many tackles who are more imposing than Westphal. This is an aggressive player who keeps his foot on the accelerator for all four quarters but still has room to grow. — Corey Bender, On3