Vols staff after another NFL son

Keep updated on Tennessee football recruiting news with a subscription to InsideTennessee.com. Read about another son of an NFL standout being recruited by the Volunteers.

Rare is it that defensive linemen last in the National Football League for over a decade. When you're 6-foot-5, 310 pounds and have linebacker athleticism, it's not hard to find a place to play.

Before Sean Gilbert hung up his cleats, he had 42.5 sacks in 146 games under his belt after being the third overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft.

The once-feared defender is now at work passing along his knowledge to his son, Zach Gilbert.

Like his father before him, Zach hopes to prove his worth as both a defensive end and tackle, which would allow him to be an every-down player on the next level.

"Hopefully I can stay at defensive end. Having my Dad as my coach, he puts me at both tackle and end so I can get a feel of both. Hopefully I can stay at D-end. If I get any bigger, I'll play tackle. It's whatever coach wants for me. Whatever he wants me to do, I'm down for."

That ability is one of the reasons why Tennessee offered the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder from South Mecklenburg (N.C.) High School earlier in 2014.

Gilbert joins prospects being pursued by the Volunteers like Mark Fields, Van Jefferson and Alex Ofodile as prep stars whose fathers played on the highest level.

The Class of 2016 standout says he thinks of gritty football when he thinks of the Orange & White.

"Just hardworking I love football, love playing the sport," Gilbert told InsideTennessee. "So, what comes to mind when I'm thinking about Tennessee is just football and a school with academics first."

His father's career overlapped with that of one of the best players to ever come through Knoxville, which is a name recognized by the younger Gilbert.

"Reggie White," he said. "Most definitely Reggie White. That's about it. Reggie White."

While respect is certainly given to the NFL Hall of Famer, it's one of the newest pro talents that Gilbert says his game resembles.

"Some of the boys at Indy call me Little Clowney. Hopefully I can live up to that name. A lot of family and relatives say I remind them of my father back when he played because my dad was great at what he did."

Tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Mark Elder is the lead recruiter from Tennessee pursuing Gilbert.

"Very good man, cool, laid back," Gilbert said of Elder. "He had a conversation with me about Tennessee about maybe going up to a game or just a visit. I really took that into consideration."

Charlotte and Florida are two other schools that have offers on the table. The rising junior says he's going to try to see a gameday atmosphere at Neyland Stadium this fall.

"It will be real fun," he said.


Discuss Gilbert's recruitment with InsideTennessee analysts and subscribers by clicking here.


Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the Scout team July 2011.
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