SAF Jontae Gilbert (6-4 185) of Atlanta made his first visit to Clemson Saturday for the Tigers win over Notre Dame. It was a big visit for Gilbert because it gave him the chance to visit with head coach Dabo Swinney and safeties coach Mickey Conn. The visit also cleared the way for him to reveal a secret. He could finally post that Clemson had offered, though the offer actually came back in September.
“They’ve been offered me, I just couldn’t post it yet because I hadn’t been on campus,” Gilbert said. “They’ve got a process where they can’t offer committed guys. We were talking when I was committed to Ohio State, but they couldn’t offer me yet because I hadn’t been on campus. Since I’ve decommitted, they’ve been on me a lot, calling a lot, talking to my folks and coaches a lot. It was a blessing hearing coach Swinney say I’ve got a chance to play for them in the future. That was great.”
Gilbert said the Clemson coaches see him as a guy who could play in multiple spots in the secondary and a guy who can defend the pass.
“They’ve seen in my film I can cover very well, at a high level,” Gilbert said. “They said that I can cover and, they believe I can come in and cover at the safety position and make a big impact early. They have some quick safeties that come down, physical safeties that like to hit and cover. They see me as utility guy playing all over.”
The visit elevated Clemson into the top three with Gilbert at this stage of his recruitment.
“It was a great visit for me. Top two visit I’ve ever been on,” (along with Southern Cal) he said. “We just got to talk to the coaches a lot. (Former Clemson RB) James Davis went to my old high school, so I’ve got a great relationship with him. They’re in my top three for sure along with Southern California and South Carolina.”
The Gamecocks have been strong with Gilbert for several months. He visited for a spring practice and was back for the Florida game in mid-October.
“Talk to them every week, so that’s good,” Gilbert said. “The whole defensive coaching staff calls me very often. Coach Beamer calls me very often as well. They say they want me and need me. That’s all.”
Gilbert said he might return to Clemson for the Georgia Tech game this Saturday, depending on what goes on with his playoff game this week. He also plans to be back at USC for the Clemson game.
This season Gilbert said he has 36 tackles with one interception and five pass deflections though teams tend to not throw his way.