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Decision time frame set? 5-star duo? Arik Gilbert opens up at the Opening

FRISCO, Tex. — Arik Gilbert said a great many things on Tuesday night after his team’s opening round game for The Opening’s 7-on-7 tournament.

Gilbert was very candid. He opened up a new thought tree about several items at The Ford Center which just so happens to be the NFL training camp home of the Dallas Cowboys.

For starters:

  • He’s looking at a September date for his All-American Bowl jersey presentation as a time when he might share his college decision. His mother and family have even said they are good with it if he is.
  • He’s taking an unofficial visit to Clemson during the week that the shroud of the dead period opens up in July. “I’m going to Clemson for the cookout,” he said.
  • The 5-star ATH from Marietta doesn’t know of any other visits prior to the start of his senior season.
  • Gilbert said he doesn’t know about any other official visits as of yet.
  • He did say that he’s been talking to fellow 5-star TE Darnell Washington this week about the thought of playing together.
  • The nation’s No. 2 ATH also offered up a pretty vivid scouting assessment of the three tight ends in Texas this week that the Georgia Bulldogs are definitely after in this class.

What Arik Gilbert said on Tuesday at The Opening

He knows that a couple of schools will also get an official visit.

“Right now the only one for sure is probably Georgia and Texas A&M,” he said.

Gilbert has already taken an official visit to Alabama. He still feels that Georgia and Alabama are still recruiting him the hardest.

“They just hit me up everywhere like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat,” Gilbert said. “They’ve got some of the players talking to me. It is a lot of stuff.”

Gilbert has been recruited by Georgia’s Dell McGee for the longest time. He feels that McGee is the one recruiter who has done the best job of recruiting his family.

“I’ve been knowing him since the eighth grade,” Gilbert said. “We’ve got a really strong relationship.”

He said that LSU is still talking to him. He is also in another discovery mode there with that program, too.

“They said right they don’t have any receiving tight ends and they are about to move a receiver to tight end,” he said. “If they move a receiver to tight end, then that is a real good look. Because then they will have a tight end who can run receiver routes.”

Why does he need to see Clemson?

“To be honest, I just haven’t been up there in a while,” Gilbert said. “I just want to get back up there. Some other top recruits are going to be up there. I know that [5-star QB] D.J. [Uigalelei] is going to be up there.”

He said that he hasn’t really seen a lot from the Tigers yet in the way they use their tight ends.

With regard to his timeline, he said that there was “most likely not” that he would make his decision prior to his senior season. He said he only needed a few games of the 2019 slate to figure that out.

“I’m thinking September at least,” Gilbert said.

If that’s the case then Charlie Woerner maybe needs to catch about eight balls for 88 yards with a touchdown on a corner route against the Irish.

“I’ve been thinking about committing for the jersey presentation for the [All-American Bowl] so that’s in September.”

But he did add that he hasn’t finalized that.

What Arik Gilbert needs to see this fall

There are several schools promising shiny new bells and whistles for their offenses this fall. Especially in the way they utilize their tight ends. What does he need to see there?

Is it a lot of catches for the tight ends?

“It is going to be balls to the tight ends but I am also looking at the routes they run,” Gilbert said. “If they run a bunch of stick routes and I mean I’m not really going to look at that. I’m looking for the corners [routes] and some good routes.”

Tennessee’s pitch is enhanced by the thought that they will ask him to do less blocking if any at all. It is mostly seen as a straight-up receiver.

That pitch has gotten some traction there.

“Other schools are basically saying the same thing,” he said. “They just want to move me around.”

Does Georgia need to change its pitch to sign Gilbert?

“I mean with [coach] Todd Hartley coming in he’s had some good tight ends in the past,” Gilbert said. “So just seeing what they do this season will dictate that.”

Gilbert said he was impressed by what he has seen from two other talents that Georgia has prioritized for the tight end spot. That’s Darnell Washington and Canadian standout Theo Johnson.

“Theo and Darnell they are both just huge and they can both move like me,” Gilbert said. “Which is crazy because I have never seen anybody that can move like me. Darnell, I mean, I didn’t know he could run routes like that. His routes are kind of polished.”

“He has good hands, too. Theo — I haven’t really seen him play a lot but he’s big and I know he can move, too. I saw him in the combine yesterday. He was moving well. Both of those guys are good.”

Gilbert then offered up a potentially satisfying thought for one lucky fan base.

“Darnell and I have been talking a lot,” Gilbert said. “So we might end up at the school.”

He brought up how he felt a savvy play-caller could use two tight ends like that potential duo.

“With two tight ends that can move like us,” Gilbert said. “I don’t know what [the defenses] could do with that. Especially if we have some good wideouts on the outside, too.”

When asked about the school that has done the best job recruiting him so far, his reply was Georgia.



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