David Conner, offensive tackle
School: Deerfield Beach (Fla.)
Height/Weight: 6-foot-7, 266 pounds
SI All-American Ranking: N/A
The Gators landed Conner early during the recruiting cycle in 2022, making him an addition to the previous coaching staff's recruiting board, but also to the new coaching staff as they continued to follow through with taking the once little-known prospect out of South Florida.
Conner's recruitment to Florida was intriguing as he had only received one Division 1 scholarship offer late into the cycle before receiving offers from bigger schools such as FAU, Syracuse, FIU and Arizona, among others.
He would receive an offer during the summer last year after working out with former Florida OL coach John Hevesy.
“After the workout that I had with Coach [John] Hevesy and Coach [Dan] Mullen, I just knew it was home,” Conner said via GatorCountry.com. “I had been through workouts at other schools, and they had just put me through workouts, and that was it. But, when I went to Florida, it wasn’t just a workout; they taught me stuff.
"They instilled more knowledge in me than I came with, and I left with a lot of knowledge that I didn’t know. So, that’s really what made it home because I could see how the coaches were going to be able to help me build as a player.”
Conner received his offer from Florida on Aug. 7, 2021, and committed just a week and change later on Aug. 17, 2021. Since then, he took multiple visits to the university to get a better look at what he was getting himself into before taking an official visit on Dec. 10, 2021, to meet with the new coaching staff.
Now, he's officially enrolled on campus at Florida, looking to make an impact in any way he can as an offensive tackle.
Where Conner Fits
Conner was just one of four offensive linemen the Gators took for the 2022 recruiting class, including fellow enrolees, Jalen Farmer, Christian Williams and Jordan Herman, who was a JUCO transfer that Florida took earlier this year.
That illustrated just how much Florida felt it needed help along the OL, and Conner himself could become a huge part of that effort, too.
This year, Florida's OL will be pretty stout. The team has talent at all five positions and brought in one of the best guards in the country via the transfer portal in OL O'Cyrus Torrence, earlier this year.
The team should be fine for this season so far as depth goes, but beyond this year - when players like Torrence, left tackle Richard Gouriage, and others - opt to enter the NFL Draft or simply graduate. That's where a player like Conner will come in handy, a big-man pass protector on the edge of either side of the line.
That strength and aggression was demonstrated here, during a camp last year:
Still, it will likely take some time for Conner to get acclimated. He is raw, and that was reflected on his late-ish recruitment by D1 schools, but given adept coaching, he should be able to become a contributor within the next couple of years at Florida.
Here is a snippet of a scouting report we made on Conner last year following his commitment:
For a player of his size, Conner moves fairly well in space. We've seen him successfully combo-block to the second level and move across the formation to seal blocks. What we'd like to see is more precise movement skills in a confined area.
At his current height and paired with his solid athleticism, Conner should be able to afford an additional 15-20 pounds in Florida's strength and conditioning program without losing any speed.
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