Tech off to "Big" Start for 2007 Class

Joseph Gilbert, a big offensive lineman from Cartersville, has become Georgia Tech's first commitment for the 2007 class.

Joseph Gilbert, a big offensive lineman from Cartersville, has become Georgia Tech's first commitment for the 2007 class. "Big Gilbert" has been sitting on the Tech offer since February and decided in the last 24 hours that he knew where he wanted to be already. Gilbert was on the Tech campus this afternoon for the Yellow Jackets' 4 o'clock practice along with his father.

"I made the commitment last night," Gilbert said. "Before I called coach, my parents and I talked a lot about it. Of course my dad had been praying about it for a good while. After we talked, we decided that Georgia Tech would be the best school for me. No other schools really compared to it."

Tech Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Alessandris made a big impression on Joseph from as far back as last November.

"I was recruited by Coach D," Gilbert said. "He was the first actual recruiting coach to come up and talk to me personally. He came up to my high school around Thanksgiving, got me out of class and I talked to him. That really stuck with me. I've gotten letters before but this was the first time a coach had actually come up to talk to me."

Gilbert had also been looking at a couple of SEC schools but found the perfect mix he was seeking in downtown Atlanta.

"The other schools were mainly Vanderbilt and Georgia," Gilbert said. "Georgia had a real good program but their academics weren't quite as high as Georgia Tech's, which is one thing I was really looking at. Vanderbilt had real good academics but their program isn't to where Georgia Tech's is. Tech was the best mix of both. I want to get a real good education but I'd like to win football games while I'm doing it."

Since it's so early still in the recruiting process, Joseph could have waited around and built up a big list of offers but he didn't feel the need to continue since he knew what he choice was going to be.

"Tech was the first one to offer and they were the only one so far," Gilbert said. "I think Georgia might have offered eventually, so would Vanderbilt, but I wouldn't have taken the offer from either over the one from Georgia Tech."

Joseph has already made some good connections with the Tech players and their family. Those encounters made it easier for Gilbert to make his decision.

"I met the center Trey Dunmon from Hawkinsville, Georgia," Gilbert said. "Coach D got him to come and talk to me. And he really impressed me because they said he came in weighing 235 and now he's right at 300 and solid. He just had nothing but good things to say about the program. And A.T. Barnes was a graduate from Cartersville about two years ago and they've treated him real well. I also met Andrew Gardner. He and his family seem real nice. And Jamal Lewis was nice enough to let us go into his dorm room to give us a tour. He seemed like a real nice guy. It all really impressed me about how nice all the team was and just how personable the coaches were."

Joseph won't have the same weight situation as Dunmon had, he's a good ways from 235 now and plans and beefing up more before stepping onto campus.

"Currently I'm 275," Gilbert said. "I'm trying to stay around that so I can continue wrestling. After high school, I'm hoping to bump up right around 300 pounds or something close to it, hopefully all muscle and not gut."


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