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Better Know a Freshman: Arik Gilbert

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The crown jewel of LSU’s incoming freshmen class

We start our examination of the 2020 recruiting class with its crown jewel. Crown jewel is frankly underselling it, as I haven’t been this excited about a recruit since Leonard Fournette. He comes to LSU listed at tight end, but versatile and athletic enough to play every receiver position like Travis Kelce, and freakishly built enough already to play in the NFL. At 6’5, 253, he’s already an NFL sized tight end. He can flat out fly, is a sharp route runner, and abuses defenders in contested catch situations. Honestly, I think he’s a rare recruit that could jump straight from HS to the NFL, but he can’t, so LSU gets to have him.

Five-stars (98-110 rating): The top 32 players in the country to mirror the 32 first round picks in the NFL Draft. These are 32 players that we believe are the most likely to be drafted in the first round from each recruiting class. The full list of 32 with five-star ratings typically isn’t complete until the final ranking. Any player with a rating of more than 100 is considered a “franchise player” and one that does not come around in every recruiting class.

Four-stars (90-97 rating): These are players that we believe are the most likely to produce college careers that get them drafted. By National Signing Day, this number is typically in the range of 350 prospects, roughly the top 10 percent of prospects in a given class.

Three-stars (80-89 rating): This is where the bulk of college football prospects are found and it incorporates a large range of ability levels, all of whom we consider as possible NFL players long term.

A high three-star (87-89): is considered a player with significant NFL upside who expect to be an impact college football player.

A mid three-star (84-86): is a player that we consider to be a capable starter for a Power Five football team and an impact player at the Group of Five level.

A low three-star (80-83): is a player that we consider to be a potential contributor at a Power Five program but a probable Group of Five starter with impact potential.

Two-stars (70-79 rating): These are prospects that we consider to be FBS-level players with very limited NFL potential.

247 Composite Rating: *****

247 Composite Ranking: .9972

Tape:

What’s crazy about this is that the corner has a 10 yard cushion and the safety is there specifically to support anything vertical, his job is to help cap Gilbert’s vertical route, especially since the #2 receiver (2nd guy from the sideline on the side in question) stays underneath. Gilbert eats up the corner’s cushion in a heartbeat and blows by the safety, eventually beating them both vertically. 253 pounds.

Here he is blowing by a corner again, using his insane height to grab an overthrown ball.

Using his incredible 6’5, 253 pound frame to Moss two defenders. Bracket him all you want, defenses.

Here we can see his ability to generate separation, and unbelievable athleticism in space. Little stop and go route abuses the linebacker and he outruns the DB’s angles. The dude can flat out fly, at 253!!!! IN HIGH SCHOOL!!!!!!

Lmao he looks like he’s playing with 3rd graders.

Projection:

I will always say that projections are incomplete without access to anything but highlight tape, that said, it’s abundantly clear with Gilbert that he is a pure freak with the production to match. All-American, Pro Bowl, you name it, there’s no ceiling for Gilbert.