Junior Profile - Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert is a 6-3.5, 315 pound OL/DL for Auburn (Wash.) Thomas Jefferson, and Gilbert is one of the main players responsible for keeping Jared Bronson in one piece. He's looking to have a breakout year this fall, one that will get him noticed.

Aaron plays both ways but says his future is on offense. "I have more confidence on offense," he told Dawgman.com. "I like to know what's going on. My style last year was more straight on blocking but I'm going to go for more of a pancaking style this year. I watched JC Ronnfeldt be successful with that last year, so I'm going to give it a shot."

Gilbert explains his strengths and weaknesses. "I feel like I'm a better pass blocker right now, but my run blocking isn't too bad either," he said. "I need to work on my pull blocking. I missed badly on a couple of key times I needed to get more than just two hands on my guy."

At his size, Aaron moves remarkably well. He runs the 40 in 5.1. His lifting marks are solid; 305-pound bench, 455-pound squat and a 550-pound dead lift. He also jumps 27 inches in the vertical leap. He was an all-city offensive lineman last year.

"I'm a real hyped person," Gilbert said about his personality on the field. "I'm the kind of person who has to say it to do it. You'll definitely feel my presence when I'm on the field. I'm very into making sure it's a full team effort out there."

Aaron is doing all he can to improve his speed, agility and quickness, not to mention his strength. "I started late," he said when asked about his foray into track and field. "I decided to try out because the track guys keep hogging the weight room and at this point I want to do whatever I can to be able to get in there and lift."

His current mark for the shot is 41 feet and the discus is 133 feet. "It's just my first year doing it, so those aren't too bad. They'll get a lot better next year."

When it comes to the recruiting process, Aaron is no stranger to the open road. "I'm pretty open," he said. "My Dad was in the military, so I've lived in some different places, like Louisiana, Arizona, Hawaii for a time. I've been around. I like it in the Northwest. The rainy weather can get on your nerves sometimes but I like it for the most part."

Gilbert was invited to Washington's junior day and he took full advantage of the opportunity. "That was a real learning experience for me," he said. "I was very impressed. I've seen Washington State before, but it was nothing like Washington. It was funny how there was so much hugging at U-Dub. I'd never seen anything like it before. It really seemed like a family to me."

Randy Hart and Chuck Heater are the coaches that spoke to Aaron. "They kept telling me that Washington is a good place to go to, with good academics and good athletics."

Gilbert's current top-5 consists of Washington, Oregon State, Arizona State, Oregon and Northwestern. "I'm going to the Nike camp in Eugene, Oregon," he said. "Our team camp is at Central Washington. And I'll be going to the U-Dub camp too."

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