- Bob Przybylo, Reporter, RecruitingNation
ESPN 150 defensive tackle Greg Gilmore (Hope Mills, N.C./South View) entered the weekend with a top three of Oklahoma, Florida and LSU.
He had seen Florida and LSU before but had no idea what to expect on his official visit to Oklahoma. After seeing the Sooners, he now knows what to expect.
“It was a mind-blowing experience,” Gilmore said. “I had a lot of fun and got a lot out of it. There were no negatives at all. The atmosphere was amazing, as good as any I’ve seen.”
Gilmore, who is 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, is ranked No. 101 in the ESPN 150 and No. 9 at defensive tackle. Not only had Gilmore not seen Oklahoma before, he admitted last week he wasn’t too familiar with the OU coaching staff.
He knew about the Sooners tradition because he has watched them on television. But experiencing it in person has given him a new perspective.
“Coach Bob Stoops is a really cool guy,” Gilmore said. “I’m not sure what I thought he would be like, but he was more laid back and fun to be around.”
For some, seeing a loss on an official visit could hurt things. For Gilmore, however, what he saw was an opportunity. The key to Notre Dame’s 30-13 victory against the Sooners was the strength of the Irish running game, which is exactly what Gilmore would be expected to shut down if he were to end up in the crimson and cream.
Gilmore has already made his official visit to Florida and is going to make one more to LSU this weekend. His tentative plan is to announce his decision Nov. 8 on ESPNU. With his high school team not a threat to make the playoffs, it has given Gilmore a chance to focus more on recruiting than some high school seniors.
He wasn’t sure how he would fit in at OU, but those doubts have been erased.
“What Coach Stoops stressed to me was the opportunities that are available at OU,” Gilmore said. “You walk down the hallways and see all those championships and you know that he is telling the truth. I definitely feel like me and OU is a good fit.”
The weekend was the first real opportunity for Gilmore to spend time with Stoops and defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp. That won’t be the case this weekend as he is very familiar with the LSU coaching staff. In fact, the Tigers made sure they weren’t forgotten last weekend by attending Gilmore’s high school game Friday.
Gilmore said one of the better parts of the OU visit was getting to hang out with OU running back commit Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Ranch). Ford, ranked No. 32 in the ESPN 150, was on an unofficial visit and both are Under Armour All-Americans.
“He was talking about how he’s going to do big things at OU and why OU is such a great place to be,” Gilmore said. “It was cool because he’s an Under Armour kid, too, so I’ll see him again.
“It was just a real positive experience this weekend. It has given me a lot of things to think about. But honestly, there isn’t a wrong choice here. I’ll have a great opportunity wherever I go.”
4hAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf
6dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough