South Carolina Football: Gamecocks make top-7 for elite defensive back

South Carolina football made the top-7 for 4-star defensive back Jontae Gilbert.
South Carolina football
South Carolina football / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

The South Carolina football program has been involved with big-time defensive back prospect Jontae Gilbert for a long time.

The class of 2025 prospect was committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes but decommitted from the program shortly after a visit to Columbia last summer. The Gamecocks, the rival Clemson Tigers, and several other programs have been considered the leaders for Gilbert's services at various points in his recruitment since his decommitment from OSU, but on Friday, he released a new top-7 (he's released several other top schools lists of varying sizes before this one).

Gilbert's current top-7 includes the South Carolina Gamecocks, Memphis Tigers, UCF Knights, Georgia State Panthers, Michigan Wolverines, NC State Wolfpack, and Louisville Cardinals. The Gamecocks have a corner and safety committed already in the class of 2025, but Gilbert is one of several other secondary prospects they are still recruiting.

Gilbert plays cornerback, safety, and wide receiver for Douglass High School outside of Atlanta. He is rated as a safety by both On3 and ESPN, as a corner by 247Sports, and as an athlete by Rivals. He is a 4-star prospect in all four of the rankings, but he was once a 5-star in the early days of his recruitment. His college future is almost certainly as a defensive back, but the jury is still out as to whether he will play corner or safety.

As a player, Gilbert operates in press man coverage a lot for his high school defense. As a solid athlete with length, he has the capability of sticking with and shutting down most receivers he runs into at the prep level. When he plays on the back end as a safety, he has good instincts for finding the football, and he has a knack for getting his hands between receivers and the ball, whether it is to knock passes away or to go for an interception.

Gilbert is a willing tackler, and he has pretty good size already. At 6'1" and 185 pounds, he has the type of size and athleticism that could lend itself to him playing corner or safety at the next level.

You can watch some of his film here.

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