The Opening: Elite tight end Arik Gilbert intently studies teams recruiting him

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The Opening: Elite tight end Arik Gilbert intently studies teams recruiting him

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The Opening: Elite tight end Arik Gilbert intently studies teams recruiting him

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Note to coaches recruiting five-star tight end Arik Gilbert, he’s not simply going to take your word for it; he’s watching for himself.

Intently.

“I don’t miss anything when I’m studying a team,” Gilbert said. “That’s what I’m most looking forward to this season; seeing if the coaches do what they tell me they’re gonna do with me.”

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The Marietta (Georgia) High School star recently cut his massive list of schools down to 10: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and USC.

“I just look for everything that has to do with my position and the offense period,” Gilbert said. “Coaches always say, ‘Yeah we throw to our tight end,’ but I watch film on them and they don’t. This season will tell a lot for me. I’m glad I got that list down though; it was getting out of control.”

Gilbert, a rising senior, was having to sift through more than 20 different text messages before the cut, making it “pretty much impossible” to keep up with everyone.

“I wouldn’t even know all the numbers texting me,” Gilbert said. “It was just crazy. Then coaches would be feeling a way because I’d forget to text them back because it was so many. Now I can actually get to know the coaches, and that’s been cool.”

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Gilbert has only taken one official visit thus far, Alabama in mid-June. The plan going forward is to set up more officials and have a decision “by September or October.”

“I can’t even imagine picking one school the way I’m thinking right now,” Gilbert said. “That’s gonna be really hard. I’m just getting all of the information right now and building my relationships. The biggest thing I’ll be doing is watching though. I’m gonna be watching really closely too.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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The Opening: Elite tight end Arik Gilbert intently studies teams recruiting him
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