Marietta High School, better known as Knoxville South these days, got off on the right foot to start their 2019 campaign on Thursday night. Tennessee quarterback commit Harrison Bailey led Marietta to a 48-14 win over Rome High School, putting up some big numbers in the process.
Bailey found five-star athlete and Tennessee target Arik Gilbert time and time again on Thursday night. Gilbert caught nine passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns while playing receiver for the Blue Devils. The 6-5, 250 pound prospect is being recruited as a receiver by Tennessee, while others are pitching him on the idea of playing tight end.
Bailey went 19-30 for 367 yards and five scores. The 6-4, 220 pound passer has been committed to Tennessee since November of 2018. He followed four-star receiver Ramel Keyton, who was a part of Tennessee’s 2019 class. Bailey has now set his sights set on recruiting Gilbert, who sits as one of Tennessee’s highest rated targets left on the board. Georgia, Clemson and Alabama are the other main teams in the mix for Gilbert, who is ranked as the 10th best prospect in the nation by 247 Sports.
Gilbert caught 88 passes for over 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2018. He’s well on his way to matching that production this season already. As you can see below, Gilbert is a freakish blend of athleticism, size and ball skills.
Marietta handed Rome its first loss at Barron Stadium since 2015 with a dominant 48-14 dub.@arik_gilbert had over 200 yards receiving and 2 TDs. @HBailey_05, @kimanividal, @yunqbrezzy_ and the Blue Devils put on a show in the Corky Kell Classic.— Zack Poff (@Zack_Poff_MP) August 23, 2019
: https://t.co/9ztKeGN0cn pic.twitter.com/GtI4xS3bOf
Last week, Tennessee picked up a commitment from four-star pass rusher B.J. Ojulari, who also plays for Marietta. Ojulari was credited with seven tackles on the night while also playing on the offensive line. He is expected to become an instant impact player in Knoxville next season with Darrell Taylor set to leave after the 2019 season.
Watching Bailey, Ojulari and Gilbert will be fun to follow all season. We’ll see if Bailey can convince Gilbert to come with him to Knoxville in the process. There certainly will be an opportunity to play early, especially for Gilbert with four senior receivers set to exit the program.