RECRUITING: Gilbert Sees Need On Florida OL

It is said that a picture paints a thousand words. The picture that was painted Saturday night by the University of Florida's offensive line probably said something like "help wanted" and that certainly was reassuring to Marcus Gilbert, a huge offensive tackle from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

(See Marcus Gilbert profile)

Gilbert was one of some 70 top-rated high school recruits at the Florida-Tennessee game at The Swamp. He knew when he got to Gainesville about Florida's depth problems, especially at the tackle position, and that the Gators will be graduating four starting seniors on the line. Then he saw first hand that the Gators have some issues with the line. All of those things added up to a message of need.

After the game, he got to spend some time watching how the coaches handle a big victory and he talked to offensive line Coach John Hevesy.

"We went in the locker room and it was cool seeing how he approaches kids after the game," said Gilber. "The coaches congratulated them and told everyone exactly what was going on. The Offensive Line Coach Hevesy said they need a lot of help and are looking for a good, solid four or five guys."

Gilbert spent the game enjoying the stadium and the game day atmosphere. The Swamp was certainly had a good time with his short visit. He got to meet a few of the prospects and got a chance to witness The Swamp at its rowdiest.

"I had a blast," he said. "The game and the atmosphere … I liked the students and I loved it. It was the loudest place I've been. The other recruits liked it a lot. Carl Johnson (Florida offensive line commitment from Durham, NC) liked it a lot too. He is a fun kid. He and I have the same kind of personality."

Gilbert, rated four stars by, is teammates with five-star offensive lineman Sam Young. The two big tackles are part of what many consider to be the best high school offensive line in the nation. Back in July Gilbert and Young came to Gainesville for the "Friday Night Lights" one-day mini-camp. This weekend, Gilbert came to Gainesville with his parents. and helps form one of the best offensive lines in all of high school football.

"We (Young and he) met up down there [in Gainesville] but I rode down with my parents," said Gilbert. "They really liked it and enjoyed it a lot."

While he was impressed with his short visit to Gainesville, he's not ready to make a commitment. He still has seven teams on his list and he's whittling that number down to five for his official visits.

"It hasn't changed a lot because I haven't visited any other schools," he said about the recruiting process. "I haven't decided on any officials to visit yet. I have seven but I am going to narrow it down to four or five in the next month. I am going to take one official visit before the end of the season, probably to Florida."

In the meantime, Marcus Gilbert and his Aquinas teammates continue their winning ways. Determined to get back to the state championship game to make up for last year's runner-up finish, Gilbert says his team is starting to play very well.

"We are doing well and are on a roll," he said/. "The offensive line is doing well. The last game was a 48-10 win over Clewiston, we could have scored more."

The Gators already have two big commitments on the offensive line and they are looking to add three or four more. Marcus Gilbert would be a talented addition to this recruiting class.

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