Marietta (Ga.) five-star athlete Arik Gilbert was pleasantly surprised when he received a long-awaited scholarship offer from Clemson in April.
“It was really surprising because I was looking for an offer from them for a while, and when it finally came I was just really surprised and happy,” Gilbert told The Clemson Insider.
Gilbert is one of the top talents in the country for the class of 2020 and has over two dozen offers to show for it.
The 6-foot-5, 248-pound rising junior could play on either side of the ball at the next level.
“Most schools are looking at me as a tight end, but some schools are actually looking at me at D-end too,” he said.
Gilbert said he is probably more comfortable playing tight end, the position Clemson is recruiting him for.
“They like that as a tight end, I’m versatile, so I can play down on the line or I can line up outside,” he said of the Tigers.
Gilbert visited Georgia this spring and is set to visit Michigan and Ohio State on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Beyond those, Gilbert doesn’t have any trips scheduled but said he looking to get back to Clemson this summer.
He has been to Clemson for a few games in the past and was also one of the standout performers at the Dabo Swinney Camp last summer.
“They’re really cool every time I go down there, especially since I’ve toured the new facility,” he said. “That’s really cool. The environment is just really good.”
Besides Clemson, Gilbert carries offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and others.
He has yet to publicly reveal a list of his favorite schools, but told TCI that Clemson has a spot at the top of his list.
“They’re high. Definitely a school I’m considering,” he said. “Just the culture and environment… I like the coaches. That can change, but the school stuff is really good, and the facility is really nice.”
Gilbert doesn’t have a firm timetable for his college decision right now. But as he goes through the process and evaluates his options, he is looking closely at a couple of factors that will be important when he makes that decision.
“Just that I feel like I’m at home down there and I have a good relationship with the players that I’m going to be playing with,” he said.
Gilbert is rated by Rivals as a five-star prospect. He is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 2 prospect in Georgia, No. 1 athlete and No. 11 overall prospect for the 2020 class.
As a sophomore last season, he tallied 54 receptions for 570 yards and seven touchdowns as a tight end. He also recorded 62 tackles, including nine for loss and six sacks, as a defensive end.