'07 Focus: Marcus Gilchrist

The state's top defensive back prospect may reside in High Point, as Andrews standout Marcus Gilchrist is arguably one of the top rising seniors in North Carolina.

"He led us in all-purpose yards and was our leading scorer," said T.W. Andrews head coach Derek Anderson. "He played a bunch of roles for us, and he's a threat all the time, especially when we had him at the return positions.

"We just try and find as many ways as we can to get him touches. He's just one of those exceptional athletes.

"He's always constantly trying to get better and make people around him better."

Marcus Gilchrist had a super junior season, as he recorded more than 40 tackles and tallied 11 interceptions. He also added four kick return touchdowns, three punt return scores, two touchdown receptions, and returned three interceptions for touchdowns, proving his ability to score whenever he touches the ball.

For his efforts, Gilchrist earned all-conference honors and was a first-team all-state selection as a return specialist. What position will he play on the next level? Coach Anderson believes his 5-foot-11, 175-pound playmaker is a natural at cornerback.

"Marcus is a real heady football player, and he has great ability to control his hips," said coach Anderson. "He has a strong backpedal and plays smart football. He doesn't get caught out of position."

Gilchrist is already drawing interest from Tennessee, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke, East Carolina, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Michigan, and Clemson. Recently he garnered his first official scholarship offer, as NC State mailed him a written scholarship.

"I just took it as an honor that a school with that tradition would offer me," Gilchrist said of the NC State offer. "I'm taking that offer under deep consideration."

T.W. Andrews High School is a program that over the years has developed a nice pipeline to NC State. Former Wolfpackers Freddie Aughtry-Lindsay, Adrian Wilson, and standout quarterback/punter Johnny Evans hailed from Andrews, but perhaps the most famous alum is legendary Wolfpack running back Ted Brown.

Gilchrist is familiar with the tradition, and is also familiar with Aughtry-Lindsay. The former NC State linebacker is a family friend and trains with Gilchrist in the summer.

"During the summer I work out with Freddie," Gilchrist said. "We're good friends. He's told me a lot about State, like how it is at the school and the coaches.

"I went with him to the State-Carolina game last year. He's been a big help in me learning about State."

Despite the early offer from NC State, Gilchrist is in no hurry to make a decision and several other programs certainly appear to be in the mix.

"My top five schools would be Miami, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Florida, and NC State," he said. "My favorite is actually Miami. I like that the heart of their defense is the defensive backs."

Gilchrist is also a standout on the hardwood for T.W. Andrews. Currently he is sidelined with a wrist injury, but the point guard is fielding interest from plenty of colleges for his basketball talents. This summer he will play with the North Carolina Gators on the AAU circuit and still remains undecided on if he will play basketball, football, or both in college.

"I don't really want to say which way I'm leaning right now," he said. "I like both football and basketball though."

Gilchrist will attend the Scout.com combine at Duke and also plans on attending a Shrine Bowl combine.

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