Two recruiting classes ago, Trinity Christian Academy pumped out four-star linebacker Jeffery Holland, who eventually signed with Auburn and is now a sophomore on the Tigers’ team. Now the Conquerors have another highly coveted linebacker coming through the pipes in junior standout Eriq Gilyard.
Standing at 5-foot-11 and 225-pounds, Gilyard looks to have the frame of an inside linebacker, which is where the three-star recruit is receiving most of his interest thus far. According to Gilyard, that is the position that suits him best, and he would like to stay on the inside at the next level.
Which team will he line up inside for, though, is yet to be determined, as Gilyard holds offers from over 15 Division I schools, such as Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Michigan. When asked which schools are showing the most interest, Gilyard has a quick response: Clemson, Virginia Tech and NC State, which have all worked to get him on campus so far.
“I took a visit to NC State, I’ve been to Virginia Tech and I’m going to Clemson in two weeks,” Gilyard told Today’s U.
Gilyard had an opportunity to check out the Wolfpack’s campus earlier this season for a game and came away impressed with the general vibe of the school on a game day after taking a prior visit during the summer.
“I got to experience the game atmosphere,” Gilyard said. “The first time I went there, we kind of walked around the facilities and got to see some of the stuff, but I didn’t get the full game feel. But it was really nice, and I liked everything.”
With Virginia Tech in the mix, the Hokies staff have worked to educate the Florida prospect on all that the school has to offer, which appears to have been successful at this juncture.
“It was nice,” Gilyard said. “The coaches showed a lot of love to me while I was there. They told me a lot of stuff I didn’t know. We did a college road trip in the summer and one of our stops was at Virginia Tech so I got to go around the facilities while I was there. They made a real good impression. I liked everything there.”
Clemson, however, is a school that Today’s U feels has a good shot to land the junior prospect down the road. Clemson has a wealth of positive factors working in its favor, and Gilyard described what he will be looking to learn about the Tigers’ program on his upcoming visit.
“How I interact with the coaches,” Gilyard said. “I want to see how they interact and get a feel for them. I want to get a feel for the atmosphere and how the coaches feel.”
In terms of which Clemson coaches are hoping to sell Gilyard on the school, a couple of Tigers’ assistants in defensive coordinator Brett Venables and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott have manned the chief position in respect to that task.
“I like it,” Gilyard said. “They have a starting linebacker now, [Ben] Boulware, he’s not really a tall guy. He’s kind of more toward my game, he’s around my height. The way that their linebackers play, I feel like is good for my skill set.”
As for future visits on Gilyard’s schedule, the three-star linebacker is targeting a potential trip to Penn State this fall, but nothing is set in stone with regards to that trip yet. Penn State is famous for its ability to develop linebackers, and Gilyard is a thumping run-stuffer who could help fortify the Nittany Lions’ linebacking corps down the road.