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2025 Ohio State Commit Jontae Gilbert Says Tennessee Football ‘Right There’ After Camp

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Five-star class of 2025 prospect Jontae Gilbert has been committed to Ohio State for almost 10 months. Tennessee Football has been a school to consider for the defensive back, and a recent camp solidified the Vols’ standing among his top schools.

The prospect out of Douglass High School in Atlanta spent a lot of time on campus talking with Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel and defensive backs coach Willie Martinez. His relationship with both is strong, he said. He especially spoke highly of Martinez.

“He is a great coach, a great coach,” Gilbert said. “I feel like he’s one of the best DB coaches I’ve ever been around. He’d love to have me down there. I’m a priority for them in 2025. It’d be great for me to get down there. 

The Wednesday workout featured positional drills for Gilbert. Some of the drills included ball skills, getting in and out of breaks, press coverage and flipping his hips when in coverage. His time interacting with Tennessee and seeing campus again, after visiting for a junior day, solidified the Vols place.

Tennessee is among a top contender for Gilbert.

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“Tennessee is right there with Ohio State honestly, if you ask me,” Gilbert said.


Before Gilbert could leave, Heupel wanted to see the prospect go through a private workout. Gilbert ranks as the No. 22 prospect nationally in the class of 2025 by 247Sports Composite.

“Coach Heup had come,” Gilbert, who stands at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, said. “He wanted to see me before I left. Coach Heup came, coach Ekeler, coach Pope, all the offensive guys.

“Right now, they’re recruiting me hard. They really want me bad. I feel like I’m needed down there, he says they need me too. I can play early, my first year. I got that intensity in me, they like that.”

The interaction with Heupel was not one that is foreign to Gilbert. Heupel visited Douglass High School soon after offering Gilbert in January.

“It was a great conversation,” Gilbert said. “He came to my school the day he first offered of me. He talked highly of me. He likes high-caliber players, and thought I was one of them. He said ‘I want you, I need you in Knoxville.’ So that was cool.”

Tennessee has shown Gilbert, who is the No. 2 safety in the 2025 class, that his is a priority. The Vols’ staff call his high school coach weekly to check in, forming relationships.

It means a lot, it shows I’m a priority for me,” Gilbert said. “They’re showing me a lot of love.”

During his trip to Tennessee, Gilbert also got to meet up with several current defensive backs. Some names included Jordan Matthews, Christian Conyer, Christian Harrison and Rickey Gibson.

Like Gilbert, Harrison is from Georgia as well. The group gave their recruiting pitch to Gilbert, even offering how successful they could be on the field.

“They trying to get me to go there,” he said. They want me at safety, and we can start the trio.”

Gilbert expects to make another trip to Knoxville over the summer before visiting for a game in the fall. His next trip to Ohio State will also come in the fall, more than likely. He also has planned trips to NC State and Florida for the summer. Southern California and UNC also seem in the mix to get summer visits

Despite holding firm in his recruitment, Gilbert is still active on the trail.

As of right now, I’m Ohio State but you know I have my eyes open,” Gilbert said. “I’ll be slimming my recruitment down about the end of May next year.”


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