Among the headlining visitors for Clemson’s elite junior day next weekend will be the nation’s top-ranked athlete.
Marietta (Ga.) five-star prospect Arik Gilbert is set to attend the Tigers’ junior day on Jan. 26.
“I’m really excited to get back up with my family and finally get a chance to really sit down and talk with the coaches together,” Gilbert told The Clemson Insider. “Also I’ll get to see the campus a little more which is great.”
Gilbert is the consensus No. 1 athlete in the 2020 class according to the major recruiting services, all of which rank him as one of the top-15 overall players in the country regardless of position.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder plays tight end, defensive end and wide receiver for Marietta High School. He owns more than two dozen offers and is being heavily pursued by many of college football’s top programs such as Clemson, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Penn State and Texas A&M.
Clemson extended an offer to Gilbert in the spring and got him on campus for the South Carolina game in November. The Tigers are recruiting him as a tight end, and tight ends coach Danny Pearman has been in frequent contact.
“Coach Pearman and I have been talking a lot recently about how I could help the offense,” Gilbert said, “and how Clemson would be a good fit for me.”
According to Gilbert, he and Pearman have developed a strong relationship.
“It’s really good,” he said. “We talk really often.”
Along with Clemson, Gilbert feels a couple of other schools are chasing after him the hardest.
“Tennessee and UGA are on me pretty hard too,” said Gilbert, who is slated to visit Tennessee this weekend.
Gilbert is shooting to render his commitment decision sometime before his senior season begins this fall.
Where do the Tigers stand in his recruitment entering the elite junior day visit?
“Clemson is high on my list,” he said.
Gilbert is ranked as high as the nation’s No. 6 overall prospect for 2020 by ESPN. He is committed to play in the 2020 All-American Bowl.
As a junior in 2018, Gilbert recorded 88 receptions for 1,210 yards and 14 touchdowns. Defensively, he tallied 64 total tackles, including six for loss and six sacks. He was also credited with a pair of pass deflections and two fumble recoveries.