The Complete Defensive Package

Showing size and athleticism on the defensive line for Northeast H.S., David Gilbert gave Wisconsin coaches reason to be excited on Saturday morning when he gave his commitment to the Badgers 2009 recruiting class.

MADISON – With one play during his senior season, Northeast (Fla.) defensive end David Gilbert showed assistant coach Charlie Partridge how good of a player he can be.

With Partridge watching in the stands, Gilbert earned the hat trick on one play, sacking the quarterback, stripping the ball, recovering it and advancing it 10 yards.

"He came to that game to watch me play," Gilbert recalled. "He called me after the game and talked to me just about that play. He was pretty impressed more by that play than the tackles."

With nearly 30 tackles through five games this season, the combination of speed and athleticism was one of the main reasons Partridge was so excited to receive a text message from Gilbert Saturday morning saying that he was committing to Wisconsin for the 2009 season.

"I looked at all my options and I think Wisconsin was the best fit all the way around," Gilbert said. "It was perfect, it had everything, provided the best opportunity for my academics and for me to being able to contribute."

It was good news for Partridge, who received his first verbal commit as a Wisconsin coach and the first recruit for the Badgers in the state of Florida. According to Gilbert, Coach Partridge was right there at the beginning of his recruitment, something that showed Gilbert that the Badgers were serious about him.

"Coach Partridge was one of the big reasons I committed," Gilbert said. "We have a real good relationship. Coach Partridge always told me what he thought and is a good person. I sent him a text message telling him and he sent me a message back telling me how excited he was that I committed. It was a big deal to him."

Gilbert recorded 57 tackles, nine sacks, eight tackles for a loss and blocked two field goal attempts in 2007 and spent the majority of the off season working on his size and speed. Graduating in December, Gilbert will enroll in Madison in January in order to participate in spring football, something that is important to Gilbert and his development.

"I like my pass rushing and getting to the quarterback," he said. "I am at a good size right now but I am going to get to campus early and start working out and get ready for spring and summer camp so I am ready by the fall. As far as size goes for playing defensive end, I know (size) is going to come and I am going to keep getting faster. I am faster today then I was during combine time. If I keep my speed up, which I will, and add size, I am going to be a good player and be ahead of the other incoming freshmen."

Ranked as a three-star prospect and 83rd in the country at defensive end, Gilbert was told by the coaching staff that he will probably play defensive end for the Badgers, but moving to linebacker was also an option, something Gilbert is totally fine with. Gilbert's main goal is to make enough progress in the spring to be a factor in third-down situations.

Making an official visit to Wisconsin for the Penn State game, Gilbert is excited to end his recruitment and to be apart of a solid defense in Madison.

"It took a lot of pressure off making my choice," he said. "I am looking forward to being apart of this defense and this whole team. The ends are great at Wisconsin and I feel like I can fit in well there because of my speed. It's going to fun."

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