The number, according to Arik Gilbert, was 13.
It might not matter what figure the official scorers arrived at for catches by Georgia tight ends on G-Day, but the one that Gilbert will.
13. DawgNation probably hopes that will be a lucky number for the program with the recruitment of the 5-star ATH and easily one of the biggest 2020 recruiting targets.
He projects to be a hybrid receiver/tight end on the college level. That’s why those stats are of interest to him when it comes to the Bulldogs.
As it turns out, he was right. The catches from the tight end group added up like this:
- 5: Senior TE Charlie Woerner
- 5: Redshirt freshman TE John FitzPatrick
- 3: Redshirt freshman preferred walk-on Peyton Mercer
- Total catches by tight ends in 2018: 43 (30 by NFL draft target Isaac Nauta)
- Total catches by tight ends at G-Day in 2018: 5
That was one of the things that Gilbert mentioned as he jogged through his recall of yet another trip he took to Georgia for G-Day. The Bulldogs had 43 catches by its tight ends in 2018. The new Coley system was able to get 30 percent of that total in the final spring scrimmage.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Gilbert has mentioned that he wants to find a “tight end-friendly” offense to call his college home for the three-to-four years beyond his senior high school season.
The chance for camaraderie among other elite recruits with a common interest in potentially taking advantage of their scholarship offers from UGA was another big takeaway.
“Just being around some of the best guys in the class was cool,” Gilbert said. “Just knowing that we were all there and we could think that if we all went there then it would be a really special team. It was that and it was just good being down there and seeing them throw to the tight end in the game, too.”
He noticed. Georgia needs to do more than just tell Gilbert the tight end is going to need to be game planned against in 2019. James Coley’s new offense needed to show him that.
“I would see them go out on routes a lot like with the receivers,” he said. “Often at that.”
Arik Gilbert and a chance to get to know other 5-stars
Gilbert has seen all of those pictures on social media. What do 5-star recruits say when they group up together and watch pregame warm-ups for a team they are all considering?
The 5-star ATH from Marietta High School was in several of those shots at G-Day.
“We had a conversation,” Gilbert said.
As for the depth of those chats, he politely declined to answer with anything more than a smile or a nod.
It wasn’t about the soggy weather and uncommon chill inside Sanford Stadium for a late April day, though. It was not that.
“Let’s say that it is classified information,” he said. “We were talking.”
Each of those young men rates nationally on the 247Sports Composite rankings for 2020. Gilbert is No. 11. Ringo is No. 12. Sherman is No. 13.
Ringo only goes to school about 1,852 miles west of his locker at Marietta High School. Sherman, who plays for St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., is only a mere 651 miles north.
Gilbert felt he enjoyed cutting it up with Sherman.
“I can tell he is really passionate,” Gilbert said. “He clearly loves playing football. When he talks, it really sounds like he loves what he is talking about and that he knows what he is talking about. It seems like he is a good leader, too.”
When he learned about Sherman’s 4.5 speed on the laser in the 40 back in July of 2017 at The Opening, he had a clear reaction.
“A 4.5 at that size,” Gilbert asked rhetorically. “Man, that’s impressive.”
Arik Gilbert offers up a scouting report on Kelee Ringo
Gilbert has actually competed against Ringo earlier this spring at a national Adidas 7-on-7 tournament.
He offers up a strong scouting report on the 5-star cornerback. It went a tad deeper than the fact his high school team wields a strong nickname in the SabreCats.
It is even deeper than Ringo’s favorite Avenger being Spider-Man.
“He’s big and fast,” Gilbert said. “Man, he’s so quick to be that big at cornerback. It is crazy like how fast he moves. It takes a lot of technique to compete with him. He’s a really good player.”
- 6 feet, 2 inches
- 210 pounds
- The top 100 (10.43) and 200 (21.18) meter times in Arizona this spring
- Clocked a 10.55 in the 100 on April 5th at The Sun Angel Classic and felt his effort was “off”
- Only saw five passes thrown his way in nine games in 2018
RETWEET JUNIOR SEASON HIGHLIGHTS 🔥🔥 9 games played and only 5 attempts 🙏 https://t.co/wbopwjXwY5
— KR7 (@KeleeRingo) December 22, 2018
When they matched up in Florida, it was an eye-opening pairing.
‘We went back and forth,” Gilbert said. “It was a good little competition. He had very good closing speed and he is very patient at the line.”
The next moves this spring and summer for Arik Gilbert
Look for him to go to a few camps this spring and this summer. It might be to just get acquainted at different schools and not to work out.
“Just to check out the schools and get down and over to places more,” Gilbert said. “Just to get around a little bit more. I don’t know where I am going to go yet.”
Gilbert took a Southwest swing over his high school spring break. It allowed him to see LSU, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
“Just to go see some different offenses and some different coaches,” Gilbert said. “I really like coach O [LSU coach Ed Orgeron] and coach [Lincoln] Riley from LSU and Oklahoma. Their pitches were pretty good.”
What does he usually hear in a pitch?
“Some schools will flex me out more as a receiver,” Gilbert said. “Some schools will want me to be more of a tight end and then put me on routes. It is a lot of stuff.”
The timetable for Gilbert sounds to be much the same.
If he can, he’d like to commit prior to his senior season. That would be the ideal timeline.
But it might not work out that way. If he needs to see how his top schools start out 2019 slate, he will hold back his decision until he sees what he needs to know.