Monacan (Midlothian, VA) star Justin Gilbert first started at offensive tackle on the varsity level his sophomore season. That year, he stood at 6-3 and weighed only 215 pounds. Three inches and 65 pounds later, he continues to be a starting offensive tackle and has become a Division 1A recruit. In fact, he has received a handful of 1A offers.
“Virginia Tech and Maryland have offered. So have Marshall, ECU, Richmond, Army and Liberty,” Monacan head coach Danny Parsons said.
Gilbert landed an offer from Virginia Tech following his performance at Tech’s July 14th camp. Coach Parsons believes Virginia Tech is a co-favorite at this point in the process, though a decision may not come soon. Boston College, Clemson, Penn State (childhood favorite according to Parsons) and Virginia are other 1A programs that have expressed interest.
“I talked to him [on Wednesday night] a little bit,” said Parsons. “He said he is just going to wait right now. He is going to see if BC comes in with an offer. Right now, I think it is between Tech and Maryland. With Maryland, he could go in as a regular freshman. Virginia Tech wants him to grey-shirt, so he would enroll in January of 2009. He has to decide if he wants to go to Tech bad enough to wait.”
With three offensive line recruits already in the fold, the University of Virginia coaches are not prepared to offer a scholarship right now.
“I have talked with them,” Parsons said of the Cavaliers coaching staff. “They are recruiting about four offensive linemen. They already have three commitments. Since they only have one spot left, they are not ready to offer him yet. He is on their list, but not on their short list. I think they are waiting to hear from a couple of other kids for the final spot.”
Significant growth over the past few years certainly has helped Gilbert become a college recruit, but he has also put in the time to make himself a better player.
“His work ethic has been really good,” Parsons said. “He has made himself into a good player. His feet are a lot better. He is faster. He ran a 5.24 in the 40 the other day on an automatic timer. He has worked hard, lost that baby fast and built muscle.”
For the next level, Gilbert projects as a guard or a tackle according to Parsons. He does play defensive tackle for the...
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