Pack Offers Gilbert

Terry Sanford CB Mark Gilbert talks about his recent offer from NC State.

Mark Gilbert did everything he was supposed to do. When you do that things usually work out. At least in this case that’s true.

Terry Sanford’s junior cornerback camped at NC State in the summer and subjected himself to intense scrutiny there. As did all of the other campers Gilbert let the coaches view him in his element. The good and the bad were all there for them to see.

It took a little while for the coaches to come around all the way. They did not offer at first. But now at the end of his football season all of that hard work paid off. NC State offered Gilbert two weeks ago. It wasn’t his first offer but it was a big one because the Wolfpack has been on his mind for months. The coaches at NC State were reaching out earlier than most coaches at other schools and because of that Gilbert has taken a keen interest in everything going on in Raleigh.

“I watched a couple of their games this year. I think they have a great team. I like the way their players play. They play fast and hard like they have something to prove in college football.”

When you read a quote like that you can probably surmise he was referencing the win at North Carolina to finish the season. He was and that game was a big statement in Gilbert’s mind. There were a lot of struggles early in Doeren’s time at NC State but the game was a sign that things are on the right track and moving in the right direction at a much better pace than before.

“I thought it was going to be a good game. I didn’t know it was going to be that lopsided. It was a good win.”

NC State’s coaches are well known at Terry Sanford and they have an ongoing conversation with the coaches there. NC State had spoken with coaches at Terry Sanford about Gilbert several times before and they told them those coaches they would be offering him two weeks back.

Gilbert was not just told to call any coach. They told him to call Doeren. It was meaningful for the head coach to be the one to tell him about the offer. Doeren told Gilbert they were more impressed with his transcripts than anything else. He passed the scholastic test with flying colors. Doeren said it was his junior year footage that helped the coaches make up their minds on the offer.

In those highlights the NC State coaches saw a player that played cornerback most of the time. They did see him on offense but he played limited snaps there because he was coming off an injury and no one wanted him to exert himself beyond what he could reasonably handle. He did make a big impact on kick returns and punt returns. Gilbert weaved through one coverage unit for a punt return touchdown. He did not put up big numbers at receiver but it was his play on defense that people have been buzzing about.

“Against every team we played I shut down their main receiver. No receiver had more than two catches against me.

“I’m not quiet. I’m out there competing. I just love it out there.”

With the NC State offer Gilbert plans to visit the school soon. He did participate in that camp over the summer but that was all about working out and putting in work. Gilbert did not tour much of the school on that trip but he hopes to accomplish that in the near future.

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