The Duke Blue Devils hosted one of the Palmetto State's fast rising prospects in the 2013 class in Abbeville linebacker Kennan Gilchrist. The 6'3 200 pound prospect put together a huge junior season for the Panthers while helping them win back to back 1A state championships. Although he lined up at defensive end for the most part he'll move to linebacker on the next level and picked up his first offer a few weeks ago from Air Force. We caught up with Gilchrist to talk about his recent trip to Durham to see Duke.
"The visit was great, fun, and a learning experience. I was able to see how everything happens on the college level and learn how the kids at the next level play and learn from them. I also got to see the indoor facilities and how their meetings go."
Gilchrist says he's established a good relationship with his primary recruiter as well.
"Coach Derek Jones is recruiting me and I was able to connect more with him and get a closer relationship with him."
Having seen a good bit of the campus and the facilities in Durham what really stood out for Gilchrist about the visit with the Blue Devils?
"My favorite part of the visit was just getting to be in the meetings and to be able to feel like a college football player."
What was his overall vibe of the program after the visit?
"Yes the visit put a great impression on me but I also just want to keep my mind open."
That includes pushing himself harder than ever in an effort to try and land an offer from the Blue Devils and other schools that are heavily in the mix currently.
"My summer workouts are going great! I'm just still working hard to be the best."
"The offer from Air Force has motivated me to take everything to the next level and work to be the best I can be and hopefully more school can see the determination I have."
We asked the 2013 standout if he had to compare his game to any player's game who would he say his game most resembled?
"I would compare my excitement for the game to Ray Lewis. The ability to give it my all every play like him is why I compare myself to him. Overall I would compare myself to Julius Pepers because of my height advantages and the abilty to jump and lastly the abilty to run down the quarterbacks."
For now Gilchrist continues to train hard to better prepare himself for the switch to linebacker. We're certain that more schools will want to see him in action during the spring to see how well he adjusts to the move and playing in space instead of coming off the edge. Given his nose for the ball and playmaking ability expect more schools to step up and intensify their recruiting efforts as Gilchrist is looking to add even more offers in the near future.