GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Danny Palmer had his concerns entering games this season, but the left side of his Tyler (Texas) Junior College offensive line was not one of them.
Starting left tackle Drew Sarvary and left guard Frank Kee took care of business each Saturday as the Apaches finished 9-2 and won the Football Capital of Kansas Bowl earlier this month.
“They were a good combo,’’ said Palmer, a veteran coach in his seventh season at Tyler.
Division I schools took notice, including the Gators, who signed Sarvary to their stable of offensive linemen on Wednesday. Palmer said Kee is headed to Texas Christian.
A 6-foot-5, 318-pound lineman from Tallahassee, Sarvary started his college career at Florida A&M. However, interested in signing with a Division I school, Sarvary transferred to Tyler last season and instantly earned a starting job.
He graduated this month and will enroll at Florida in January with two years of eligibility remaining.
“Drew Sarvary was the leader of the offensive line and he is a fierce competitor,’’ said Palmer, a former assistant at the University of Houston. “He’s an offensive lineman that can play in any program in any league. He will contribute to the University of Florida immediately.”
While the Gators’ offensive line is set to receive a boost from the return of injured players D.J. Humphries, Chaz Green and Tyler Moore next season, the recent departure of Ian Silberman prompted Gators head coach Will Muschamp to seek an experienced player to add to the roster.
Sarvary fit the bill perfectly. He started 10 games as a freshman at FAMU and was an All-Southwest Conference selection in his only season at Tyler.
Palmer said Texas Tech recruited Sarvary hard but that the Gators came on strong in the end. Palmer said Sarvary’s sister attends UF and that getting back to Florida was a strong pull for Sarvary.
Palmer said Sarvary is the third member of this year’s team to sign with an SEC school.
“He was good on the run as well as pass protection,’’ Palmer said. “He has great intensity and plays with a defensive lineman’s mentality. It’s a good situation. When you get a mid-term offensive lineman and you get him in there in spring training and you’ve got him in the summer, it’s a lot different than bringing a high school kid in.”