GAINESVILLE — Mason Halter didn't exactly show SEC speed in one of the biggest highlights of his career.His Fordham Rams were in the middle of a 32-point loss to Cincinnati in 2012 when they tried a trick play on a two-point conversion attempt. The then-285-pound Halter lined up on the left side of an unbalanced line and let a Cincinnati pass rusher slip past him.Halter dropped back, caught a lateral, juked right, jumped over one defender and rumbled over another for the score."For a big guy, it was a pretty athletic move," Fordham coach Joe Moorhead said.But it doesn't compare to the massive move Halter made this offseason, leaping from being an unheralded tackle in Division I-AA to a potential starter at Florida."It's a big jump," Halter said. "Once you see these caliber players, you work yourself up to that caliber. You can play at that level."Halter arrived with a history of rising to higher expectations.Though he played at Cleveland high school powerhouse St. Ignatius, Halter had only one major scholarship offer, to Kent State. Fordham didn't even offer him a full ride, but he took a partial scholarship to study economics at the Jesuit school in New York City.When Moorhead arrived as Fordham's coach in December 2011 after Halter's first year, he saw a tall tackle with good feet but room to grow. Halter piled on 30 pounds and earned a starting spot on an uptempo offense that broke 16 school records and ranked in the top 10 nationally in I-AA in points and yards per game."Certainly as he was developing, you wondered if he could continue on to play at the next level," Moorhead said.By the time Halter became a third-team All-America left tackle as a senior last year, Moorhead knew he could keep playing somewhere. Halter didn't meet the Patriot League's requirements for a fifth year of eligibility, so Fordham helped Halter look elsewhere."I just kind of went on the market," Halter said.Florida was on the market, too, looking for immediate help to bolster an offensive line that returns only one starter. One of the Gators' graduate assistants, Christian Pace, has a brother, Ian, who coaches tight ends at Fordham. That's how Halter — who played in front of 2,442 fans in his last home game at Fordham — ended up at UF, which had a crowd nine times that large for its spring game.Halter is already working with the top line, swinging from both tackle spots to guard as UF tries to solidify its lineup."Mason Halter is kind of the wild card," coach Jim McElwain said. "He's a guy that's proven he can play a couple spots."And he has proven he can play against good competition, too.At Fordham, Halter played three major-college opponents: Cincinnati, Temple and Army. The two-point conversion at Cincinnati was impressive, but Moorhead said Halter "more than held his own" against a defensive front that included at least one player who got NFL attention, Dan Giordano.But Halter — now listed at 6 feet 6, 295 pounds — knows this fall will be much tougher. By his fifth game, he could be trying to block Ole Miss junior defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, considered a future first-round draft pick."I played some good caliber (opponents) — maybe not SEC caliber, but close to that," Halter said. "I've done well against them. It was just a matter of time, getting me ready for this."Halter said he has had to make two levels of adjustments to UF. The first is the weather. He rolled up his sleeves after last week's scrimmage to show a tan line he couldn't get up north.The second is the speed of the game, which he can only grasp through practice. Halter competes against SEC players every day and said they're as strong, fast and big as he has seen on TV."It was very similar to what I had in my mind," he said. "I'm playing to that level, I think."The Gators are counting on it.