UCF: A David Gilbert Favorite

David Gilbert, who is ranked a three-star defensive end and is amongst the best at his position in the nation, took a visit to Orlando on Tuesday and toured the UCF campus. Gilbert hadn't visited any college until his trip to Orlando, and the Knights certainly set the standard for him. He spoke with InsideKnights.com about his visit

"The campus was really nice. Everything was brand new and close together. The dorms are always open and I was just very impressed. It was my first visit to any school and it was great," Gilbert told InsideKnights.com.

While UCF was the first school Gilbert took a trip to, the Northeast High School product from Oakland Park, Florida, has received strong interest from some other big time programs. Aside from UCF, Gilbert has received offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue, Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Utah, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Arkansas St, FAU, South Carolina, Iowa State and Kansas State. Prior to his UCF visit, Gilbert told Scout.com that his top six schools were FAU, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Louisville, Pitt, and West Virginia. However, heading up to Orlando changed Gilbert's mind.

"UCF's on my list now. West Virginia hasn't offered yet and I don't know if they will. Even if they do, I wasn't a priority player. UCF has been recruiting me for a while. Coach O'Leary says I can play O'Leary and I like that he was honest, that caught my attention."

The Knights made the jump from outside Gilbert's top-six to one his favorites for several reasons. The end loved UCF's facilities, the coaching staff and basically the entire feel the program has.

"[UCF] has a lot of things that other schools don't. They have a weight room, an indoor practice field, graduate assistants that I know. Things are done the right way up there, Coach O'Leary is a good guy."

Along with facilities, Gilbert was blown away by UCF's entire coaching staff.

"Coach (George) Godsey has been recruiting me and I really get along with him. He is really funny and we talk about a lot of stuff." Gilbert also talked to UCF's defensive line coach, Coach Jim Panagos and enjoyed their visit, but he was extremely impressed by Coach O'Leary.

"Coach O'Leary is funny too, I like him. He told me he could offer me some early playing time, but what impressed me most was his honesty. It's hard to find an honest coach, and I really like that about him. At UCF, players are the first priority, which is great."

Honesty seems to be a priority for Gilbert, and with O'Leary's reputation as a straight shooter, UCF is now on the top of the list for Gilbert. Gilbert will be visiting one of his other favorites, FAU next week, and will also head up to see Florida, but he won't make any decisions for some time.

"I'll decide where I'm going to go at the end of the season. My family and I will sit down and will all come a decision together. I don't want to commit too early." Gilbert is a 6'4" end who specializes as a pass-rusher.

"I love getting after the quarterback, pass-rushing is definitely my biggest strength. I weigh 217 lbs. now and would like to get a little bigger. I also run in the 4.6's and want to get down to the 4.4's, and I think that's a realistic goal."

Some schools have recruited Gilbert as a linebacker too, and while he isn't opposed to playing there, he prefers to play at end, where he is most comfortable. Gilbert's coaches have helped teach him a little bit of linebacker because they know he is being recruited at the position as well.

"My coaches are helping a lot by teaching and telling me some helpful things. The recruiting process has been a little stressful at times, but my coaches are telling me to keep everything in perspective."

UCF certainly made an impact on Gilbert and he has impressed them as well. The Knights have a lot of the aspects Gilbert is looking for and should be to the top of his list when the season is over.

"I enjoyed my visit to UCF and look forward to going back, I really like the program. For now though, I just want to keep my options open."

Knights Daily Top Stories