Tennessee football: Vols make cut for 2020 5-star TE Arik Gilbert

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images /

Tennessee football recruiting made the cut for an elite Georgia tight end. The Volunteers are in the top 10 for five-star Arik Gilbert of Marietta, Ga.

Jeremy Pruitt has kept Tennessee football in the running for numerous elite prospects over the past couple of weeks as they continue to trim their lists, and Monday was no different. This time, the Vols made the cut for an extremely highly touted prospect.

Five-star tight end Arik Gilbert of Marietta, Ga. trimmed his list to 10 schools, and the Vols were on there Monday evening. He’s listed as a tight end on Rivals, but among other services he is considered an athlete.

Gilbert had Tennessee football in there with the Georgia Bulldogs, the Alabama Crimson Tide, the LSU Tigers, the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Texas A&M Aggies, the Oklahoma Sooners, the Auburn Tigers, the USC Trojans and the Clemson Tigers. He announced his list on Twitter.

Right now,  Gilbert is considered the No. 1 player in the state of Georgia and the No. 1 player at his position. So his potential is through the roof, and at 6’5″ 248 pounds, Gilbert would be a sensational pickup for the Vols.

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The guy has got a ton of versatility and can line up at defensive end or tight end. He can block, rush the passer, tackle, and even play receiver. Simply put, Pruitt could have another elite prospect who is capable of playing either side of the ball.

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And the good news for Pruitt is Gilbert is a perfect fit for Tennessee football. Edge rushers, tight ends, and Georgia prospects are all guys who fit in with Pruitt’s system right now. That will probably be even more likely with Jim Chaney now as the Vols’ offensive coordinator.

The problem, though, is landing Gilbert will be a major uphill climb. Rivals’ FanFutureCast has Georgia as a 55 percent favorite, and their general FutureCast has the Dawgs as a 100 percent favorite to land him. There are 10 predictions for him on the 247Sports Crystal Ball, and all of them have him going to UGA.

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So Tennessee football will have a very hard time getting him to Rocky Top. But it does make a statement for the program, coming off a 5-7 season, to have such an elite athlete keeping them in his top 10. Pruitt is proving that he will not stop shooting as high as possible, and maybe the Vols can make some inroads with a solid season.