With early recruiting all the rage in college football today, on-campus summer camps have lost their overall significance in the process. Once considered a major vehicle to evaluate high school seniors, many major D-1 programs have already filled a majority of scholarship slots for the upcoming recruiting class.
However, the camps still provide that last chance for college coaches to see individual prospects up-close and personal for an extended period, and hopefully impress coaches to the point of earning a scholarship offer.
Palestine Westwood linebacker Seth Gilkey attended Texas A&M's summer camp last week hoping to earn a scholarship offer. The 6-foot-1.5, 220-pound prospect had already caught the eye of the Texas A&M staff, but they wanted to see him in College Station at their camp to evaluate him further. Gilkey felt he put his best foot forward at the camp.
"I thought I did well. I had a great forty time. I ran a 4.6 flat," Gilkey said. "When I first ran it, the coach told me it was the fastest time so far."
With speed being such an important element at linebacker, Gilkey knew he had to improve his forty time this spring, so he took measures into his own hands and worked hard to increase his explosion and speed.
"I bought those jump sole shoes and worked out in them all the time," Gilkey said. "I ran a lot of sprints and worked on my squats and exploding out of my stance. It really paid off. I shaved a tenth off my forty time at A&M."
Speed wasn't the only thing about the East Texas product that impressed the Aggie coaches at the camp. Gilkey performed well in the various drills also.
"We focused a lot on flying to the ball and downhill plays. We worked on staying low and agility drills," Gilkey said. "The linebacker coach (Joe Kines) told Coach Jordan (recruiting coach) that I had really quick feet and that he liked me."
After receiving high praise from the coaching staff and turning out a very impressive forty time last week, was the Palestine native's performance good enough to garner a scholarship offer this week?
"Coach Jordan said they were very impressed with my performance and that they will talk about my status this week," Gilkey said. "He said to call him at the end of the week and they'll let me know if I earned a scholarship offer."
Gilkey is very familiar with Texas A&M, already visiting the campus two other times and he likes what he sees. He made it clear what he would do if the Aggies come through with an offer to play his college ball at Kyle Field.
"If I get an offer this week, I'll take it," Gilkey said bluntly. "I've always liked Texas A&M and I've wanted to go there for a while."
However, without an offer in hand, Gilkey is scheduled to hit the summer camp circuit again next weekend with a scheduled camp at Kansas State. In addition to the A&M camp, Gilkey has also participated in the OU camp earlier.
"I'm going to a five day camp at Kansas State on Saturday," Gilkey said. "I've been to the OU camp and I did pretty good there. The coaches said I was impressive and I made their list of players they have interest in, so they want to evaluate me the first part of my senior season and see how I do."
However, that could all be a moot point if the Texas A&M staff pulls the trigger at the end of the week.
Gilkey excels at A&M camp
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