Photo: Tony Livingston; Credit: John Garcia, Jr.
For the past few seasons, the Florida Gators football program has been regarded as a unit that produces on the field at a high level but struggled to find its steam on the recruiting trail.
Looking to turn that notion on its head during the 2022 cycle, the Gators have found a hot streak in the past week, obtaining two commitments in as many days - with one pledging to an offensive line that has lacked dominance for the longevity of John Hevesy’s second tenure at the university.
After adding another talented prospect to a stacked quarterback room in Nick Evers (Flower Mound - Texas) on Mar. 9, Tony Livingston (Carrollwood Day - Tampa, Fla.) announced his commitment to UF to play both football and basketball on Mar. 11.
Choosing Florida over 33 other schools, including Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State and Miami, Livingston is a substantial win for Hevesy and company early on in this stage of recruiting.
Projecting to play offensive tackle at the next level, Livingston is an intriguing prospect given his limited knowledge of the position.
Standing at 6-foot-6, 260-pounds, Livingston moves well for his size and will look to continue doing so by adding 40-to-50 pounds in his early days of college. Seeing the bulk of his high school career playing as a pass-catcher, Livingston started out as a big wide receiver in his early days of high school before attaching to the line of scrimmage to the tight end position soon thereafter.
Accounting for 284 yards and three touchdowns on nine receptions in his junior season at tight end, Livingston displayed an athletic ability that will translate well to the front lines of the Florida offense upon his arrival. Mixing in his dominant presence on the basketball court — averaging 17.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game — Livingston adds quick and nimble footwork to the exterior of the Gators offensive line.
With no experience working at tackle, Livingston brings a difficult player to measure strictly based upon his work at the position he will play in college. As the majority of his film showcases his ability to catch the football and play in the skill position, the takeaways for his projected position is hard to come by.
However, Livingston showcases desirable traits for offensive lineman: Raw strength and power.
Looking to add more size, Livingston is set to be a project for strength and conditioning coach Nick Savage as they attempt to add a considerable amount of good weight onto his frame before he is ready to step onto the field in orange and blue.
Given his untapped potential and raw skillset, Livingston presents an opportunity for the Gators coaching staff to shape him into the type of player they want him to be, both physically and fundamentally.
Livingston’s tape suggests significant versatility at the next level along the offensive line, given his athletic prowess and what will be an impressive mental game as he transitions to unfamiliar territory.
While the overall product has not been showcased, the groundwork of his potential has yet to be unleashed, making Livingston a difficult yet exciting task for all of those working to bring him to the level of play that the coaching staff believes he can reach.
Nonetheless, Livingston will be a player of interest for coaches and fans alike upon his arrival in Gainesville. With a crucial development period needed to be had, Livingston will likely be redshirted in year one as he begins his transformation.
In the limited action he does see early on, Livingston presents Dan Mullen an opportunity to get creative in jumbo sets and dial-up an opportunity to allow him to use his sure hands to make a play as an extra offensive lineman.
No matter which way you look at the Tampa native, potential surrounds his name.