Four-star DE Kelvin Gilliam (6-3 250) of Highland Springs, VA will announce his college decision on August 22nd at 7:30 PM on CBSSports.com. Thursday night Gilliam said he had cut his short list of ten down to a final three of USC, Oklahoma and Penn State. The others in his top ten were Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Virginia Tech, LSU, Cal and Kentucky. Kyle Krantz has been the Gamecocks’ primary recruiter and he, along with head coach Will Muschamp, are making that final push.
“They have definitely turned their recruiting of me into a whole nother level now,” Gilliam said. “They are very attentive now. They text me every day. Coach Krantz said he’s going to do one thing, prove to me why South Carolina is the best fit for me. He says it’s a huge opportunity for me to play there. The NFL dreams I have can be realized there. And I could leave with a world class degree. Coach Muschamp sends me a motivational quote at least every day just to start my day off, which I just love. He always replies back. He has also been very attentive about me as well.”
Gilliam said Oklahoma and Penn State are also making strong pitches to him, so it won’t be an easy decision as he tries to figure out which one meets most, if not all, of his criteria.
“The difference is momentum and constancy,” Gilliam said. “Who has been there for a awhile and who really cares about me. One of those schools that I feel like that if I don’t go there, they’ll just be heartbroken. And I’m looking at graduation rates. Are they putting graduates out, things like that. And playing time. I’m coming in to make an impact right now.”
Recruiting prognosticators overwhelmingly are predicting Oklahoma as Gilliam’s choice. His close friend and teammate, CB Damond Harmon, committed to the Sooners August. So naturally the crystal ballers and forecasters see that as the tell-tale sign.
“Because he (Harmon) went there and we’re so close, that’s the only reason you see all those crystal ball predictions and stuff like that,” Gilliam said. “You know, if you get one crystal ball, they all just start coming. It could be a surprise. Definitely going to be a shocker. It’s going to be something people are unexpecting.”
The football season in Virginia has been moved to the spring, and Gilliam, who can not graduate early, plans to play in some of those games. Gilliam was a major force last season with 37 solo tackles, 45 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 7 sacks. He’s ranked 7th nationally among weakside defensive ends in the 247Sports Composite, and the #4 prospect in Virginia.