RECRUITING: Gilbert Has Tremendous Upside

FORT LAUDERDALE --- Marcus Gilbert had to watch from the crowd Tuesday as his teammates Sam Young and Dan Wenger were selected to the US Army All-American Game (sponsored by Young, Wenger and Gilbert are all part of what is considered the best high school offensive line in the nation. Gilbert doesn't take a back seat to his teammates. In fact, he probably deserved to be selected, also.

(Marcus Gilbert profile)

The 6-6, 285-pound Gilbert comes from a basketball background. He has good feet, nice hand-eye coordination and excellent speed and agility. Combine those attributes with his size and it's no wonder he's been rated four stars by At the ceremony honoring Young and Wenger, analyst Scott Kennedy said "Marcus Gilbert is as good as anyone who will be in that game."

Aquinas Coach George Smith loves the physical abilities of his star right tackle.

"Marcus is a very good athlete," Smith said. "He has basketball ability and runs very well."

Gilbert is a humble kid who is pleased to be part of an offensive line that is being called the nation's best. He appreciates the Young and Wenger and he will tell you they've helped to make him a better player. He believes they are quite deserving of the accolades.

"I am really proud of them," he said. "They are really good. I think they are the best offensive linemen I have seen in a while watching film."

Because they are seniors, there is that chance that Young, Wenger and Gilbert will go their separate ways to play college football. The three are not only teammates but friends so the thought of breaking up this talented trio isn't a pleasant thought for Gilbert.

"I played with these guys for four years and now watching them leave it's bad," Gilbert said. "We'll still find time to see each other and we may all choose the same college."

That could prove to be an interesting and almost clairvoyant statement since the University of Florida is the only school that is shared on their list of favorites. There is a certain appeal for Florida since the Gators will be losing five senior offensive linemen.

In addition to Florida, Gilbert has NC State, Miami and LSU on his favorite list. He has official visits set up for Florida on January 14 and Miami on January 27-29.

Gilbert talked about his four favorites:

FLORIDA: "I love the college town and campus. The atmosphere is great. Coach (Urban) Meyer is a tremendous coach and a great teacher. Coach (John) Hevesy and Coach (Steve) Addazio, they taught me and Sam some great techniques and stuff. They got out and physically showed us and we came back and started using them to our favor."

MIAMI: "The coaching staff is real good, and a real good program."

NC STATE: "NC State is a good program and I have an opportunity to play there early."

LSU: "They were a favorite growing up. I liked watching Shaquille O'Neal and was a huge fan. I just like LSU."

Marcus Gilbert has an upside that is as good as any linemen on Florida's recruiting board. Just because he wasn't selected to the US Army Game doesn't mean this kid isn't a prize recruit who can play. He will make someone very happy on National Signing Day.

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