03 Apr 2020 freak Arik Gilbert talks being a five-star, recruiting and more
Rivals.com named 10 five-stars in the 2020 class last week Arik Gilbert was one of them. Gilbert is a 6-foot-4, 247 pound athlete out of Marietta (Ga.) that is being recruited as a tight end, defensive end and athlete.
He can do it all.
We aren’t the only ones that feel that way.
"I see Arik every day and I see a kid with an unlimited skill-set," said Marietta head football coach Richard Morgan. "He is still just learning the game, so he still has so much room to grow as a player. He is getting stronger, he is getting bigger, he is learning and he is really starting to blossom.
"So many coaches love him because he is such a special athlete and he still has so much to learn about football. As good of a player that he already is, he still has os much room to get better, so he potential is unlimited."
Gilbert has somewhere around 30 offers. He does not know exactly, but he can basically go anywhere he wants to go. He is that type of player.
The sophomore is a humble young man, so what does he think about being considered one of the premiere prospects in his class?
"Being a five-star in my mind means I have to hold myself to a higher standard because I know many more people will be looking at me," said Gilbert. "Whether I am in a game, at a camp of wherever I am at, I know many will be looking, so I just have to perform and keep working hard."
Having that fifth star on his profile is not something Gilbert is going to talk about or make a big deal about, but it is something he will take pride in.
"Being a five-star has crossed my mind in the past, so it does mean something to me now being one. To me, being a five-star is being considered one of the best overall, so it is pretty big.
"I still have a lot of work to do, so I am going to keep working hard, but having the stars is something I have thought about."
Gilbert said he can catch the ball, run after the catch, block, line up anywhere and rush the passer. He is a versatile athlete. Some think he plays on Sundays as rush end, one of the most coveted positions now with the game now, but if it comes down to his choice, it may be a position on the other side of the ball.
"My favorite position is tight end because when I was younger, I played a lot of defense, so I did not get to touch the ball a lot, so now, I get to move around, I get the ball and I just like it.
"I watch a lot of Travis Kelsey and Rob Gronkowski and I like how they play. Some schools like me on offense and some on defense. I do like catching the ball if I had to pick one."
Coach Morgan has coached many big-time prospects that have gone on to play at the next level. Josh Sweat is one who will be drafted this year after spending three years at Florida State.
Sweat was a five-star in the 2015 class.
"There are some comparisons between those two," said Morgan. "Josh was a little more lean in high school and they weigh about the same now as Josh prepares for the NFL Draft. I see Arik maybe in that 270-275 pound range and it is scary to think about him three to four years from now and what he could be doing at that size.
"Arik reminds me a lot of Josh in the way that he loves the game and the upside that he has. I just marvel at how athletic Arik is and what kind of potential he has. Arik has a shot to go very far. He has great grades, he has good support and he has great talent."
Morgan saw Sweat get pursued by every major program in the country before signing with the Seminoles. Where is Gilbert right now with the recruiting process?
"In my mind, some that jump out when I think about recruiting are Alabama, Penn State, Georgia, Clemson, Miami and LSU," said Gilbert. "I do not really have favorites or anything right now.
"I am still evaluating schools. I am still looking at how schools play on the field, how they distribute the ball if they want me on offense, how I relate to the coaching staff and the overall campus environment."
Gilbert is not close to making a decision at this time. He wants to visit Clemson and Penn State this spring, but no visits to those schools or any others are scheduled at this time. He has already visited Georgia and Miami in 2018.
Marietta starts spring practice May 2.