It goes without saying that things change quickly in the recruiting process. Prospects shuffle college teams up and down their list depending on how they feel at any given moment, while on the other hand college coaches reshuffle their board, moving players up and down, as well. It can be a turbulent time in a young man's life, with a lot of uncertainty and a bunch of different things happening both on and off the field.
At this time last year, Jacksonville (Fla.) Fleming Island offensive lineman Ian Silberman was standing around after practice waiting for a ride because he was too young to have a driver's license. Now, he has the independence that comes with having a license and a car of his own.
Before the start of last summer, though he had adequate size for an offensive linemen, he looked like he didn't spend a whole lot of time in the weight room. Now, entering his senior season, he looks like he might be the most likely candidate to be the Gator that follows Tim Tebow on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine. He's added a solid 10 to 15 pounds of muscle to his upper body since last summer and now weighs in at a solid 265 pounds.
For the last two years Silberman has lined up as an offensive right tackle for the Golden Eagles. Now, not only has he switched to the left side of the line, he switched to the opposite side too. He is now also occasionally playing defensive end.
For years he thought about how his senior year would go and the things he would do. Now that he plans on graduating early in order to enroll at Florida in time to go through spring football, those plans have changed.
There's changes everywhere.
Last July when Silberman committed to the Gators he seemed to be incredibly sold on his choice. Now, ten months later actually that may be the one area of his life where nothing has changed. If anything he seems to be even more solid at this time.
After a Tuesday afternoon practice attended by Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio (one of 47 coaches who have come through this spring), Silberman spoke with InsidetheGators.net.
GBN: It looks like you've been hitting the weight room?
Silberman: "Yes Sir. I've been working out trying to get as strong as I can to help my team be the best in the area. We want to be the strongest line in the state this year."
GBN: You spent a lot of time out there at defensive end. Is that something new for you?
Silberman: "I haven't done this since freshman year, so it's mainly new to me. I'm going to be lining up mainly on offense (left tackle) this year, but my coaches want to get me on the field on defense in certain situations. I come in on goal line, short yardage and some other special situations."
GBN: Does that give you an advantage as an offensive lineman to work out some as a defensive end? Does it help you to defend them after learning their technique or tendencies?
Silberman: "I think it does because like now when I have to down block, since I've been learning defensive end, I know a little bit more about what a defensive end is trying to do to get free and I know what I need to do to stop him."
GBN: Turning to recruiting. You were recently bumped up from the Rivals250 up into the Rivals100. When something like that happens, what's your reaction?
Silberman: "As long as I know I'm helping my team win, I don't pay attention to it that much. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to know. It's good to be ranked, but I wasn't worried about it when I wasn't in the top 100. I pay attention to it, but I don't worry about it."
GBN: You are currently at No. 59, while fellow Jacksonville prospect Brent Benedict is at No 40. Do you two have a friendly competition going on here to see who ends up highest?
Silberman: "There's always competition between me and him. We've become pretty good friends. I've been talking to him more and I think we're kind of pushing each other to get better."
GBN: Coach Brighton just said that there have been 47 different colleges come through so far this spring. What is it like to draw so many coaches to come and see you practice?
Silberman: When the other schools come I've already told my coaches that I don't want to be called out or shown to them. It's not that I don't care that they're here, it's that I want to concentrate on school and my senior year."
GBN: So at this point in the process where would you say your commitment to Florida stands?
Silberman: "That's the reason I don't want to be bothered by these other schools. I'm committed to the Gators. I can't see anything changing that."