Gilbert Frierson grew up in close proximity to the University of Miami. The junior d-back stars at Coral Gables Senior High, a nine minute drive, or 30 minute walk, from The U.
"I grew up watching the Canes and the Gators," Frierson said. "I always had them two schools in mind."
After taking a visit to Miami for their junior day in February, Frierson received a scholarship offer. He committed shortly after.
It's safe to say that after that day, he erased any thoughts he had about the Gators, and replaced them with the thoughts of dominating for his hometown team.
There's No Place Like Home !!! pic.twitter.com/4J3uOkVxvW— Deuce (@_gbe2) February 21, 2016
One thing that appealed to the Frierson was coach Mark Richt's desire to bring The U back to its days as a national powerhouse program. Gilbert knows a thing or two about the glory days of The U. Sources have listed him as the cousin of former Miami legend, Frank Gore.
"It's great being part of a program rising its way back to the top," Frierson told me.
What will it take to get back to the top? Well, here at SOTU we have written numerous articles discussing the goal of keeping local talent close to home. Looking at the commit list for 2018, it's safe to say there is plenty of hometown talent headed to Coral Gables.
I asked Frierson to tell me if thinks more kids from South Florida will stay home, and help bring the program back. He offered a swift, strong reply.
"I think they'll stay home and put on for their hometown, especially Miami," Frierson replied.
As of now, there are four solid four-star prospects in the Class of 2018 (Frierson being one of them). Standing at 6-1, and weighing 185 pounds, he's already a large defensive back.
"It helps me a lot having such long arms, legs, and speed," Frierson said. He runs a 4.5 40-yard-dash. "It makes up for a lot."
The coaching staff at Miami has built a strong bond with Frierson and the other recruits in his cycle, and Frierson made sure to show his love for all coaches.
"I love the coaching staff. They're great. I'm really close to all of them."
The respect he built for Mark Richt comes from the desire to put together a championship caliber squad. As a position coach, he looks up to cornerback coach Mike Rumph, a former Cane who was also a member of the 2001 National Championship team with Frierson's cousin Frank Gore.
When asked if he would look at other schools, Frierson replied, "Yeah, I'll look at some other schools, but I'm all about The U."
Hurricanes fans shouldn't worry about a flip for Frierson. He's a hometown kid, with family ties to Miami and a desire to be a great player for Mark Richt. He loves some of the current Miami d-backs, and is determined to do whatever it takes to be the best DB in his class.
"I think [Miami] can have a national championship team this year," Frierson said. "I look up to guys like [safety] Jamal Carter. He's a beast on the field. My goal is to be the best DB in this class."
It's interesting to note that he looks up to Carter. Given Frierson's size, speed and tackling ability, he could be a standout at safety at the next level (247sports.com has him listed as a corner).
Let's take his word for it: This kid will do whatever it takes to be the best, he's all about The U and Miami is most certainly back and better than ever.