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Greg Gilmore grabs UA Game jersey

This was a big day in Greg Gilmore's football career. The next momentous occasion should be even bigger.

The defensive lineman from Hope Mills (N.C.) South View was officially introduced during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game as an Under Armour All-American Thursday afternoon. Shortly before the announcement, Gilmore said he will announce his college decision on Nov. 5 or 6, just days after taking his official visit to LSU for the Alabama game.

"Once I get back, I'm going to make that decision," the nation's ninth-best defensive lineman said.

Gilmore has long said the Tigers lead for his services. So what is he hoping to learn from his pending trip to Tiger Stadium?

"Pretty much game atmosphere," Gilmore said. "I'm going to try to get close to some of the players there."

Gilmore has one other official visit planned. He's scheduled to be at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium when Florida hosts Kentucky on Sept. 22. Gilmore has found plenty to like about the Gators.

"Everything really," he said. "I think that they're recruiting me pretty hard, just like LSU. The environment is good down there. My mom loves it. She loves the direct flight. She loves Gainesville period. She said if I go to Florida, she might move down to Jacksonville."

Gilmore said he plans to take all five of his NCAA-allotted official visits but isn't sure where just yet. Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, USC and Alabama are all possibilities — for different reasons.

"They're really fighting for one of my official visits," the nation's 101st overall prospect said.

Virginia Tech has a chance for a couple of reasons. Gilmore has a good friend on the team, which is why he visited Blacksburg last spring.

"The way Virginia Tech talks to me, even if I don't (sign) there, they really want me to go up there and see the place," Gilmore said. "I've been there before. It's a nice place."

Then, there's the relationship Gilmore has with his recruiter, defensive line coach Charley Wiles.

"He will coach you up," Gilmore said. "I probably have the best relationship with coach Wiles out of any school. I might not be that interested in Virginia Tech like other schools but when it comes to relationship with coaches, we can just sit there and talk about life."

Gilmore said he also has loyalty to North Carolina State. The Wolfpack has long been under consideration even if it isn't near the top of Gilmore's list.

"They've been recruiting me probably the hardest out of every other team," the four-star prospect said. "They've been here since the beginning. Give them a chance. That's a really nice school."

The scurry between the suitors continues with two national powerhouses: Oklahoma and USC.


"They're losing a lot of guys on the defensive front," Gilmore said of the Sooners. "They're not just recruiting me for no reason. They really need d-linemen. They're pushing to get some good players."

As for the Trojans, Gilmore said, "They're recruiting me hard too. They're a young team. They want to reload and stay reloaded."

Unless something changes drastically, there doesn't seem to be any more strong suitors for one of those final visits. Alabama was once a factor, but apparently no longer.

"I haven't really talked to Alabama (lately)," Gilmore said. "I'm still interested in them but they're not interested in me it seems like."

North Carolina could have been a factor had it not hit hard times off the field. The Tar Heels are facing allegations of academic fraud and extra benefits provided to athletes. That could bring NCAA sanctions, which concerns Gilmore.

"That's what turned me away from Chapel Hill," the 6-foot-4, 285-pound prospect said. "The coaches have come here recruiting me. I don't want to be in that mess. There are a thousand schools in this country. There's no need for you to go to a school that has jeopardized your bowl eligibility and what I'm trying to accomplish."

Unlike most highly rated prospects, Gilmore is willing to redshirt in order to improve, especially in the weight room, where he bench presses 295 pounds, squats 460 and power cleans 315.

"I need to get bigger, faster and stronger," Gilmore said. "I want to maximize my opportunities because I'm looking ahead to the NFL."

Gilmore will need that strength in college. He's played much of his high school career at defensive end. He now plays more snaps in the interior.

"You get a lot of double teams, a lot of block downs," Gilmore said. "You get a lot of the stronger guys inside, centers and guards inside."

Gilmore didn't like the move at first. Now he says the position is "easy". Time will tell just how easy that position in when he faces off against the best prospects in the nation during the events leading up to and during the Under Armour All-America Game at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in January.

"It's definitely a reflection of my hard work on the field and off the field," Gilmore said of being named to the all-star event. "It's an honor for the little town I'm in. I'm going to rep my town proudly."

Gilmore spent much of the day on Thursday answering questions about the Under Armour All-America Game. What time is it? How do you get tickets? Admittedly, he didn't yet know all the answers. He's got time to figure that out. Perhaps a stroll across town would help. It won't take long.

"You could walk the distance of Hope Mills," Gilmore said with a chuckle. "It's a pretty small town but everyone is pretty big into football. I think with me going to the Under Armour game, it's going to hype up this town and bring some life back to it."

So will his next press conference.