High School Football

Whale Branch lineman Pinckney gets offer from Florida


February 14, 2014 


Whale Branch Early College High School sophomore defensive lineman Nyles Pinckney has received an early scholarship offer from the SEC's Florida Gators.

SARAH WELLIVER — File -- The Beaufort Gazette Buy Photo

Now there are four.

Nyles Pinckney picked up a scholarship offer from Florida on Friday, adding to the list of suitors for the Whale Branch Early College High School defensive lineman. Pinckney, a sophomore, had offers from Clemson, Georgia Tech and North Carolina.

The Gators became the first Southeastern Conference program to make the jump.

Warriors coach Jerry Hatcher called Florida assistant head coach and defensive line coach Brad Lawing on Monday and asked him to watch Pinckney's video on the Hudl, a website where coaches and recruits post highlights.

Lawing left Hatcher a voicemail late Thursday night, and when Hatcher called back Friday, the Gators coach had good news.

"He said he liked his quickness," Hatcher said. "He's very quick for his size. He thought he was an SEC player."

The offer probably means another stop on Pinckney's quickly filling summer schedule.

Pinckney declined a combine invite at the beginning of the year while dealing with an injury but plans to visit a combine in Oregon this summer and also camps at Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina and N.C. State.

After Hatcher called Pinckney's dad with the news Friday, they agreed Pinckney should add Gainesville to his stops.

"He's got good offers, man," Hatcher said. "That's about as good as it gets. He'll get more. He'll get a lot more."

Pinckney works with a personal trainer, Arlan Johnson, who is also an assistant coach at Beaufort High. Johnson works Pinckney on his agility and 40-yard dash time, among other areas.

During his sophomore season, Pinckney finished with 76 tackles, including 26 for loss, and four sacks to go with seven quarterback hurries. He also forced and recovered three fumbles, blocked two punts, intercepted a pass and scored two defensive touchdowns.

Pinckney is lifting weights and playing basketball to stay in shape before spring football. Coaches can't talk to Pinckney yet, unless he is on their campus or calls them.

"At times it is overwhelming trying to keep up with coaches, making sure I call them and keep in contact with them," Pinckney said in January. "I'm just making sure I keep in contact with all of them and know what's going on."

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