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Gators DL Joey Ivie, a former standout at Pasco High, is one of eight early enrollees.

Tuesday February 26, 2013Early Enrollee Q&A: Gators Defensive Lineman Joey Ivie

Gators DL Joey Ivie, a former standout at Pasco High, is one of eight early enrollees.

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

Editor's note: National Signing Day was Feb. 6 and Gators coach Will Muschamp announced the 2013 recruiting class. Eight members enrolled early and began classes in JanuaryGatorZone.com caught up with the players for a Q&A series.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. Joey Ivie was somewhat of a late bloomer on the recruiting trail.

The former Pasco High standout entered his junior season with only one scholarship offer. It was from UMass, a long way from his Dade City home and a world away from SEC football.

And then Ivie began to grow and blossom on the field. Soon, offers from Florida State, Miami, USF, Tennessee and others started pouring in. The Gators made their pitch too and Ivie, who finished his senior season with 89 tackles and 12 sacks, verbally committed to the Gators before his final prep season started.

The 6-foot-4 defensive lineman enrolled at UF in January to get a head start on his college career.

GatorZone.com recently caught up with Ivie for a Q&A:

Photo: Ivie on National Signing Day at Pasco High (Mike Camunas/TBO.com)

Q: What it's like to finally enroll in school and start working out with the team?

A: It's a relief because now I can finally get on with my life and get on with these next three or four years so I know what I'm doing. I've now got plans instead of trying to sit down and decide which school to go to. I'm a lot more relaxed now that I'm here and I know what's going on. I'm not constantly worried about talking to all these coaches and what school I want to go to.

Q: Why did you end up signing with Florida?

A: I just like the facilities and what they are doing here and what the goals are for this program. I see this program winning a national championship in the next year or so if they keep it up. It was definitely something I want to be a part of. I love everyone here, the staff, the players and everything about Florida is just phenomenal.

Q: Did you grow up in Dade City?

A: I was actually born in Tampa, moved to Lakeland, moved to Dade City for like a year, moved to Virginia for like two years, and then Jacksonville and back to Dade City.

Q: What are your connections to UF?

A: My grandpa went to law school here and my grandma went to nursing school here.

Q: What is your strength as a player to start your college career?

A: I'd say just to work hard with the guys in my class and show the older guys that we're going to bust our butts and each day, each week get better. By the end of the season we want to make progress. Progress is the key, especially for big-time football like this.

Q: Have you already gained weight since you've been here?

A: Oh yeah, I got here at around 254 and now I'm about 267. It's happening pretty fast.

Q: What role did you play best in high school on the defensive line?

A: I played on the inside a lot but I stood up on the outside. I played pretty much everywhere.

Q: What's something we don't know about you?

A: I'm kind of musically talented. I play a little bit of keyboard and drums.

Q: Do you play in a band or just mess around?

A: I mostly mess around with my friends. I just pick up instruments pretty quickly and do all kinds of things.

Q: What's the best day you think you've had playing football?

A: When we played North Marion this year I had four sacks, two forced fumbled. I did really good that game. We won by a lot.

Q: How far did you guys get?

A: We got to the regional [championship] and lost on TV. That stunk. My junior year we lost in Triple overtime to Wakulla right before the state championship, so that was a heartbreaker. But you know I just want to take those losses and apply them to college to get better.

 

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