Take Two: Has Georgia lost its lead with 5-star Arik Gilbert?
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.
That has changed significantly over the summer.
The Marietta, Ga., standout who shined at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas has talked much more about playing wide receiver rather than tight end and he proved this summer he’s capable of making the move outside.
Gilbert also recently took a visit to Clemson and the Tigers have become a serious player in his recruitment after being quiet for months - possibly because everybody thought the five-star was headed to play for the Bulldogs.
Those four schools are going to do everything possible to sway Gilbert since he’s one of the best prospects in the 2020 class. For so long, Georgia looked like the unquestioned leader in his recruitment. Is that still the case as the season approaches?
TAKE ONE: Jake Reuse, UGASports.com
“Gilbert seems to be one of those guys who's exploring all of his options in earnest and seeking to find the fit for his game that makes the most sense. If he truly wants to be a wideout, as he's recently expressed, I doubt he ends up at Georgia. While the Bulldogs would likely give him the opportunity if that's what it took to secure the commitment, I think it's pretty clear that tight end is where they prefer him.
"I felt confident about him landing at Georgia going into the summer, but here on the tail end, I'm beginning to question that pick to a degree. He'll take his visits, and Clemson, Alabama, and Tennessee will all have compelling pitches for him. If it were today, I still think there would be a comfort factor that would land him in Athens, but the longer his recruitment goes, the shakier the pick feels.
"I'm not writing off any of the contenders for Gilbert, as he looks like he's going to take his decision the distance, and the more he gets out of the Peach State, it feels like a greater likelihood that he'll choose to play beyond the borders.”
TAKE TWO: Mike Farrell, Rivals.com
“He could be a wide receiver. He could be a Calvin Johnson-type. Johnson wasn’t as big as Gilbert out of high school, but he was a very big wide receiver who could move and stretch the field and that’s what Gilbert can do. We’ve seen him outrun cornerbacks playing out wide in camp settings. We’ve seen how fast he is on the football field.
“If he’s looking at wide receiver, Tennessee has the biggest need at wide receiver. Alabama will lose a couple guys early over the next couple years to the draft. Georgia, if they wanted him as a receiver, they have some talent there, too, but he would get targeted more.
"Clemson is the interesting one because every time a kid visits there, it seems like their recruiting changes. That’s the one that’s in his head now and made him rethink things. I still think he ends up at Georgia. That’s my guess but it takes a lot of twists and turns between now and Signing Day.”