July 15, 2007

In-state lineman lands Hokie offer

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Two prospects from North Carolina weren't the only players to walk away from Virginia Tech's second summer camp with offers. At least one in-state prospect also landed a scholarship.

"The camp went good," Richmond (Va.) Monacan offensive tackle Justin Gilbert said. "Virginia Tech offered me a greyshirt scholarship which means I'd have to wait a semester and go in January instead of fall.

"I didn't know what that was when they offered me it. But afterwards they explained it and told me I'd graduate like normal, but instead of coming in August I'll go in January and my first football season won't be until 2009. I'm fine with it, the thing is that I'd get to practice with the team in the spring and that partial year wouldn't count as a year of my eligibility, but if I still needed to redshirt that fall I could."

Is there a chance for Gilbert to get a regular offer still?

"They did say they have a bunch of offers out for offensive tackles," he said. "They gave me this because they can't fit me on the list right now, but really want me. They did say if a bunch of other kids commit elsewhere I'd be first on the list to drown down to a regular scholarship."

The 6-foot-6, 280-pounder discussed his visit to Blacksburg.

"I got there and stretched out, did some agility stuff and then they broke us up into offense and defensive line," he said. "I worked with coach Newsome on the offensive line and then Wiles on the defense. Then I did some one-on-one stuff for the last 30-minutes of camp. I thought I did really well on the day, I felt like I did better than last time."

What did the coaches think of Gilbert?

"Coach Newsome told me that he liked the way I was running last time and he and coach Cavanaugh think I got a bit bigger and faster during the past month," he said. "Coach Beamer stopped by too and said I looked good. After the one-on-ones, he offered me."

While on the visit to Blacksburg, Gilbert saw and talked to a few familiar faces.

"I saw Khalil Latif, John Graves and Blake DeChristopher," he said. "I talked to Khalil a bit to see how things were going. He told me he was enjoying college and talked about the different classes he's taking. It was good."

Following the offer by Virginia Tech this weekend, where does this put the Hokies in relation to his other scholarships?

"This offer puts them right next to Maryland and Richmond. Those are on top right now," he stated. "I've got Richmond up there because I live in the area and it's a good football team and a great academic school.

"Maryland is there because it's right near D.C. and I want to study politics. There's no better place to be than there."

Next up for Gilbert is one more camp.

"Next week I'm going to Richmond for a one day," he said. "I want to see how the camp goes there.

"This week I'm also awaiting word from Penn State to see whether they'll offer me. I want to see if Penn State and other schools offer before I start declaring favorites."

Meanwhile, the Richmond lineman is already considering a timeframe on a decision.

"I'll probably decide by the end of August or middle of September," he said. "I want to do it early. More than likely in August I'll go to Richmond, JMU and probably back up to Maryland and if I have time before the season to Tech."

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