RECRUITING: Gilbert Narrows List Down To 6

Marcus Gilbert of Fort Lauderdale powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas has an offer list that is as impressive as you will find anywhere in the country, but the 6-6, 280-pound offensive tackle has decided to narrow the list to a manageable number. Just one month after he got an offer from the Florida Gators, Gilbert eliminated a huge list of potential suitors down to six.

(See Marcus Gilbert profile)

Since he can take only five official visits, one of the six will be eliminated at some point. However, Gilbert feels a little better now that he has trimmed it down.

"I have narrowed down my schools to six so that has taken a lot of pressure off of me going it into the school year and football season," he said. "Miami, Florida, South Carolina, NC State, Oklahoma, and LSU are the six schools. Pretty much everyone is even and I really want to take my visits and see how everything goes. I want to see what will be the best fit for me."

He says that next on his agenda will be deciding which of the six school is the best fit athletically and academically. He talked about his six finalists with Gator Country.

MIAMI: "I like everything about Miami … the coaching staff and Coach Kehoe. It is a nice environment. The academics and support they give to the football team ... I really like all of that."

FLORIDA: "Florida has a good coaching staff and they really impressed me when I took a visit up there. It is a nice college town and I look forward to seeing that again. The opportunity to play over there is good."

SOUTH CAROLINA: "Good coaching staff too. I talk to Steve Spurrier a lot. I have a pretty good connection."

NC STATE: "It's a nice college. Chuck Amato is a really good coach. I love that they offered me to play defense."

OKLAHOMA: "The offensive line coach is good. I like the offensive line tradition. It is one of the schools I can see myself playing at."

LSU: "I like Jimbo Fisher, he is a good coach. I don't know too much about them, but I want to take a visit there because I hear a lot of good things about it. They also have a good tradition."

Gilbert is one of the Aquinas linemen being pursued by all the top schools in Division I. Teammares Sam Young and Daniel Wenger also have impressive offer sheets. Interestingly, all three have only one school that is the same on all their target lists but that is not necessarily a sign of things to come.

"I think Florida is the only school that Sam and I have in common," Gilbert said. "Daniel has Florida and Oklahoma. We don't really sit down and talk about going to school together too much."

Right now it is time for Gilbert to get ready for the school year and the football season at hand. Things seem to be shaping up for him on both accounts.

"Practice is going good … we start with our first game on Friday," he said. "The offensive line is looking good. We have some injuries but should be healthy for the game. School isn't difficult. I am making it along in them (classes) and understanding them all right".

As he moves through the season and takes all his visits, Gilbert is looking at a few variables that will point him in the direction of the best fit for him. As time goes by, there will be more variables, but his starter list will keep the schools on their toes.

"Academic support, football tradition, where I can see myself fitting in the environment and playing," he listed.

Marcus Gilbert will be one to watch this season. The upside on this mammoth lineman is gigantic. He will make some college team very happy on signing day.

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