Terps Closing in on Another Commitment?

With Maryland's 2008 football recruiting class filling quickly, one might think the Terps would be done taking any verbal commitments for the time being. And while it seems true the Terps are focused on using the remaining few scholarships on some of the bigger-name, more highly sought star players, TSR has the news on a somewhat under-the-radar prospect who may become a Terrapin soon.

Monacan (Va.) offensive lineman Justin Gilbert told us this week he is close to a decision, with his primary choices being Maryland and Virginia Tech, both of which have offered the 6-foot-6, 280-pound tackle.

Gilbert is a standout run-blocker who has started since his sophomore year at Richmond-area Monacan, where he's also quickly added muscle to what was a 215-pound frame. He boasts a 3.7 GPA and has a strong fondness for all things Maryland. Clemson and Penn State are recruiting him as well, but are waiting a few weeks before deciding to offer; they may be too late.

"I think probably the latest I will commit is the end of September … the end of September is pretty much [when it will be]," Gilbert told TSR. "Maryland is No. 1 right now."

Gilbert has been to Maryland on several occasions and liked it increasingly every time, from the facilities to the campus to the coaches.

"Campus is really pretty and it's basically its own little city. The football program is really good. They have the Gossett Team House and they're going to renovate the locker room in the next two years," he said.

He's being recruited by assistant Tom Brattan, who has been making inroads in Virginia recently.

"He's a really good coach. Off the field he's a really nice guy. On the field he's really strict and not afraid to get in your face if you're not doing it right, which I like. I think I respond better if I'm trying to impress the coaches," Gilbert said.

He also admitted there is plenty of local pressure to become a Hokie; He lives in the middle of Virginia Tech country.

"Both [Maryland and Virginia Tech] have really good academics. With Virginia Tech, everybody here in Virginia talks about Virginia Tech. It's a big deal for someone from my school to go to Virginia tech, so it's a big deal with the teachers and stuff like that," he said.

Gilbert has very good footwork for his size and runs a 5.0-second 40-yard dash – an impressive number for such a big guy. He's also a big fan of the big guy at Maryland, Ralph Friedgen.

"With coach Friedgen there, I think things are really about to start getting a lot better," he said.

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