Take Two: Can Georgia work its way into Arik Gilbert's recruitment?
Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com national recruiting director Mike Farrell and an expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites or a regional analyst.
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The recruitment of Arik Gilbert continues to be one of the more interesting ones nationally because it seemed Georgia was the team to beat for the longest time and he was back on campus this past weekend.
By many accounts, the Bulldogs have considerably slipped in his recruitment and Alabama has taken over the top spot, but the Marietta, Ga., five-star tight end gave it another crack with Georgia in its win over Kentucky.
The Bulldogs are still not throwing the ball to their tight ends often and even if Gilbert has the athleticism and playmaking ability to split out and play wide receiver, that has to be a concern.
Alabama has laid out how it plans to use Gilbert in its offense and the tight end has been an important piece of the Crimson Tide attack for a long time. Clemson, after slow-playing Gilbert early on, has really stepped up the heat and could be a contender. His Marietta teammate, four-star quarterback Harrison Bailey, is committed to Tennessee, so the Vols can’t be counted out yet either.
Georgia had an opportunity to sway him back to Athens over the weekend. Can coach Kirby Smart and the coaching staff convince Gilbert to start to seriously reconsider Georgia again or has that ship sailed?
FIRST TAKE: JAKE REUSE, UGASPORTS.COM
“Georgia isn’t going to give up on him because he’s such a highly-touted guy and he’s an in-state kid, but overall it feels like and has felt like at least for a couple months that he’s looking for an excuse to go somewhere else.
“He gave Georgia a cursory visit and maybe it was something he felt he owed to them because they have been recruiting him for so long and so hard, but nothing about the offensive performance Georgia put together over the last couple weeks would be encouraging for him or sway him back their way.”
SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM
“He’s been looking out-of-state for quite some time. I thought he would take a visit to Georgia, I thought he would be impressed and staying close to home would be a factor but I don’t think they did anything to impress him this weekend.
“I can’t see him changing his mind. He was leaning toward Alabama with Clemson No. 2 and I still think that’s the case.”