Tony Gillespie racked up high honors during his junior campaign at Jenks High School in Jenks, Oklahoma The big defensive tackle earned All- District, All- Metro, and All-State honors. He then made an early decision, ending his recruitment and choosing Oklahoma State. After reconsidering that early verbal, Gillespie is now hearing from some big football programs more often, including the defending National Champion.
“I have no favorite now,” Gillespie said. “I’m hearing a lot more from Florida, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Arkansas, and Tennessee. I’m still interested in Kansas, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State.”
With schools like Florida, Florida State, and USC on Gillespie’s list, it doesn’t seem as if distance from home is much of a concern for Gillespie.
“That’s actually something that me and my mom have talked about. It’s not something that we’re worried about at all. USC and Florida are great options, but I can’t forget about Oklahoma being right here either,” said Gillespie.
Jenks, Oklahoma is right in the middle of Big XII country, but that doesn’t mean that Gillespie doesn’t have interest in playing in other BCS conferences.
“For a long time, it was always the Big XII for me,” Gillespie added. “Now, I think almost anywhere is good. SEC, Pac 10, wherever. I just want to be somewhere that will help me get to the next level. I think I will fit in anywhere and be focused.”
With a list full of who’s who in college football, surprisingly, Gillespie doubts he’ll get a chance to take many visits. However, there are some programs he feels he will make time to go visit.
“I took a lot of visits my junior year, so I don’t think I’ll go on many this fall. I’m pretty sure I’ll visit Arkansas, Florida, and Tennessee. I was going to visit Kansas State earlier, but a family issue came up and I couldn’t make it,” Gillespie said.
The Kansas Jayhawks were one of the first programs to offer the 295 pound tackle, but Gillespie still doesn’t know if he’ll make it up to Lawrence for a visit.
“I get letter from them all the time. I really got a lot my junior year,” said Gillespie. “They also called and sent me text a lot last year. I just don’t know if I’ll make it up there. I do like that they were one of the first to offer me.”
Talent has never been the question when talking about Gillespie’s recruitment, but grades have. Fortunately, for Gillespie and those recruiting the defensive tackle, that issue seems to be becoming a non-issue according to Gillespie.
“My grades are getting better,” said Gillespie on academics. “I’m scheduled to take the ACT’s again at the end of September, I think. I did ok on my first ACT and I think I’ll do a lot better this time.
With a summer full of endless workouts coming to an end, and a long football season straight ahead, Gillespie still doesn’t plan on waiting to long to finally end his recruitment, again. He plans to decide before his regular season is over.
It seems as if there is an early list and a late list for Gillespie. The early list consists of Oklahoma State, whom he once committed to, Kansas, Kansas State, and Tulsa. The late list consists of Oklahoma, Florida, USC, Tennessee, Arkansas, Notre Dame, and LSU. If Gillespie continues to impress during his senior campaign and he gets his academics in order, I feel the appeal of one of the schools on the second list will be where Tony decides to take his talents.