At the recent Five-Star Academy in Oakland Park, Fla., several big names showed up with big offers. However, there was one player in attendance who was not as well known as others, though that may soon change.
Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast defensive end David Gilbert will be a name to watch in the 2008 season. He has already picked up an official offer from the University of Connecticut and he has more schools showing interest.
"The UConn offer came in about a month ago," Gilbert said. "I don't know how they found out about me but I guess they came and watched my highlight tape and they liked what they saw. UCF, Wisconsin and Miami are all showing interest too."
The athletic defensive end looks the part with a great frame and body structure and his junior season went according to plan.
"My season was pretty good," he said. "I broke 50 tackles. I had nine sacks, about eight tackles for loss and blocked two field goals."
What allows Gilbert to make so many plays on the field?
"I'm aggressive enough to stop the run. I'll put my body out there and take on the guard. Pass rushing is definitely my specialty. Not to be cocky or anything but once I get a shold of what you're doing which I pick up very quickly, I think I can get around you very quick or even go through someone."
Gilbert's smarts on the field are a direct result of the work he does off of it.
"I think as a team we help each other, outside linebackers, inside linebackers, we notice certain things," he explained. "I think we watch as a team probably as much film as a college team."
As a senior, Gilbert will likely be watching even more film because he plans to play on both sides of the ball, doubling as a tight end.
"I'll be going both ways because I have the hands too and I'm aggressive enough to block and I will block," he said. "I gotta do extra running. My coach tells me I can run forever so he says, 'David, you can run forever so I'll put you both ways.'"
On a team with a lot of young talent returning, Gilbert should be a standout in 2008 that catches the eye of many more college coaches.