April 25, 2008

Deland, FL RB up to six offers

Playing on a winless team as a junior isn't always conducive to receiving a lot of attention from college recruiters, but a stroke of good fortune in terms of having a savvy new head coach has vaulted one prospect rapidly into the limelight.

Deland, Fla. running back Mike Gilleslie played on a winless team last season and wasn't on the radar of most college recruiters right after signing day last February.

Enter new Deland head coach Kevin Pettis, who formerly coached at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, a school that produced 2008 quarterback signee Chris Wilkes and Ole Miss true freshman basketball star Chris Warren.

Pettis took it own himself to get Gilleslie's name - and more importantly - a video highlight reel out to every Division I school.

The result? Gilleslie has already picked up six offers from major programs who have seen the video, including a recent offer from Ole Miss.

Other schools that have offered are Michigan, Clemson, Auburn, Mississippi State, and Georgia Tech.

Gilleslie, a 6-foot-1, 205 running back, who also doubles as a wide receiver, had over 500 receiving yards and 490 rushing yards last fall on a team that had some issues.

"It was a tough season," Gilleslie said Thursday evening. "It seemed we changed offensive schemes every week. We've got a new coach and some talent on the team and I expect that to change this fall."

Apparently, Ole Miss was one of the schools that received Gilleslie's video and Rebel recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn wasted no time in making Deland one of his first stops when he and other members of Houston Nutt's staff hit the recruiting trail this week.

"Coach Vaughn was down on Monday or Tuesday and talked to my coaches," Gilleslie said. "I called him later and he told me I'm at the top of his depth chart."

"Coach Vaughn and all the coaches I talk to, they want me to play running back and wide receiver," he said. "He (Vaughn) is a good coach and he's telling me what I want to hear, especially about how I could be used like Darren McFadden and Felix Jones (Arkansas running back duo expected to be first round draft picks on Saturday).

Gilleslie said he talks to coaches from all the schools that have offered about once a week.

He has only attended one junior day - that being at Central Florida - but does expect to have a full slate of camps lined up this summer.

"Camps this summer, I'll most visit all the schools that I can, particularly the ones that have offered."

Gilleslie claims no favorite at this time and thinks he'll probably take recruiting all the way to the wire, waiting to make an announcement in late January or early February.

He's impressed with his current offer list, but one school that he grew up a fan of has yet to show much interest.

"I get a few letters from Miami, but they really aren't recruiting me," he said.

Gilleslie has an impressive 3.0 GPA and will take the ACT for the first time on May 3.

Gilleslie short take on schools that have offered:

Ole Miss: I like most everything about Ole Miss.

Clemson: I like the way they use their running backs and their offensive style.

Michigan: I like the way they win a lot of games.

Auburn: They seem like they work hard, and a lot of running backs in the league have come out of Auburn.

Mississippi State: I like the coach up there.

Georgia Tech: They're kind of like Ole Miss, I like most everything about them.


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