Mike Gilliard Takes Surprise Trip to FSU

Fresh off nabbing an offer from the Seminoles, Valdosta High linebacker visits Tallahassee for the second time in just a few days.

Mike Gilliard wanted to see more.

After picking up a scholarship offer while attending a camp at Florida State last weekend, the Valdosta High standout took another trip to Tallahassee, Fla. Wednesday.

"I just wanted to come down here to visit the coaches," Gilliard told GAVSV.com about the impromptu visit to FSU. "I wanted to get to know them a little better because last time I was here I didn't get to talk to them as much as I wanted to."

The talented linebacker was impressed by what he saw in Florida's capitol city the first time and came away feeling the same the second time around.

"The facilities are really good," Gilliard said. "They are really nice. I walked into the Athletic Department and got to see the two National Championship trophies. The coaches are all honest guys and they talk to you like they really want me there. I talked to Coach (Jimbo) Fisher and Coach (Dexter) Carter and a few other coaches.

"I had a nice long talk with the defensive coaches."

As is evident from the 'Noles' 2008 recruiting class, FSU coaches are recruiting size and speed at the linebacker position.

The 6-foot-3 Gilliard thinks he fits that bill nicely.

"(The coaches) watched my film and they liked what they saw," said Gilliard, who posted 112 tackles, eight sacks and two interceptions as a junior a season ago. "They like the way I play and the way I get to the football."

One player who Gilliard could have as a position mate if he were to choose to play his college ball in Tallahassee is '08 five-star linebacker Nigel Bradham, who is already enrolled at FSU.

"I didn't get to see or talk to too many players but I saw Nigel," Gilliard said. "He looks real athletic and is a nice guy. I saw him when he was eating and he said 'What's up?' to me."

So now that a second trip to FSU is over and he has an offer in hand, where does the Tribe stand?

"FSU is definitely one of my favorites," said Gilliard, who boasts 10 scholarship offers from some of the southeast's elite programs. "They are right up there with Georgia and Georgia Tech. I am just trying to keep my options open right now. I don't want to rush into anything."

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