That’s how four-star defensive tackle Greg Gilmore (Hope Mills, N.C./South View) describes his official visit to Florida.
“I was amazed,” Gilmore said. “They turned me around.”
Heading into the trip, LSU had been the leader for the ESPN150 member since April 18.
But the Gators chased down the Tigers this weekend in Gainesville.
“They’re both even,” Gilmore said. “Everything is neutral now and it wasn’t like that before.”
On a scale of one to 10, Gilmore rated his UF trip an 11 and called it the best visit of his recruiting process thus far.
“Amazing experience,” he said. “The game was great, the tour was great and my dad loved the academics. The coaches maximized that visit and they made a big impression on me. That wasn’t something I expected and I really thank the players for that, too. All of it was just amazing.”
Gilmore was hosted by true freshman defensive ends Alex McCalister and Jonathan Bullard, who are both from North Carolina and made him feel at home along with Tar Heel State products D.J. Humphries and Rhaheim Ledbetter.
“Hanging out with those boys was pretty cool,” Gilmore said. “I can only compare this to one school and that’s LSU. They have a defensive end from (Greenwood) South Carolina named Sam Montgomery. Last spring he told me that it’s hard coming from The Carolinas and going to LSU with them Louisiana boys. You don’t have anybody to hang out with.”
“But Florida has four guys from North Carolina and they’re all a year ahead of me. I played with all of them either in a game or at the Shrine Bowl. So I’m way more comfortable around them guys. They’re all just like me and getting to know them was the highlight of my trip.”
Another was spending time in the film room with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive line coach Bryant Young.
“We sat down and watched some film,” Gilmore said. “They want me to play end in their 3-4 scheme because of my agility and they want me to play the 3-technique (defensive tackle) in their 4-3 scheme. That turns me on because it’s 50-50 in the NFL and I played defensive end in my first three years of high school.
“They’re selling me on Sharrif Floyd leaving early and a couple guys that might not be good enough to stay there. So I’m a big priority to them and they want guys that don’t need a lot of development and can play early. And they think I can because I’m a perfect fit for their defense.”
Although Gilmore is sold on Florida’s scheme, he’s still intrigued by the staff at LSU.
“I think because the Florida coaches are kind of younger, it’s like a family environment there. I know coach Quinn and coach Young have a lot of experience, but it’s also fun being around them. However, I think the coaches at LSU are always concentrated because they’re older and they have more knowledge. They might not have the family feel, but it’s all business and they really get on you when you do something wrong.”
So what does Gilmore prefer to play around, a family atmosphere or a business atmosphere?
“Man, I really don’t know,” he responded. “Now I’ve seen what Florida is all about and like I said I was amazed. I can’t really comment on that because I don’t know where I am with everything. This visit made things way more complicated and I need to make sure I’m making the right decision.”
Making sure entails taking a second trip to LSU on Nov. 3 for his official visit. Gilmore said he will make his decision days later on the fifth or sixth.
“It all lies on my LSU trip now. It better be right, I’ll tell you that,” Gilmore said. “It better be a good visit and I’ll be comparing it. Florida put an amazing visit together for me, but is it the best place for me? I gotta figure that out.”
Something that might help him?
The UF-LSU matchup on Oct. 6.
“Thankfully I’m a USC Trojan fan, so I won’t be rooting for either team,” Gilmore said. “I was thinking about driving to the game, but I don’t think it would be a good idea for me to go down to Florida and watch it. If they beat LSU, it might get me. I don’t know. But if Florida beats LSU, I will be amazed.”