2021 Target Gilliam Discusses Oklahoma and Texas

by Reese Becker

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Four-star defensive lineman Kelvin Gilliam Jr. from Highland Springs (Richmond, VA) is one of the most highly-touted recruits in the 2021 class, and for good reason.

Gilliam played both JV and varsity as a freshman and won VHSL class five state titles in each of his first two seasons. He was part of the last two of Highland Springs’ four-consecutive state titles. With a whopping 39 offers, Gilliam has his choice of where he wants to go. Two of those choices are the rival Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners out of the Big 12 — both of whom he recently had virtual visits with.

Gilliam squats 425 pounds and runs a 4.8-second 40-yard dash, according to his Hudl page. With a frame currently at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, Gilliam is a very talented athlete capable of causing chaos at the line of scrimmage. In 2019, Gilliam racked up 45 tackles, with 19 tackles for loss and seven sacks.


“They (Oklahoma) are definitely a school who is going to be in the final run,” Gilliam said. ” I recently just did a virtual visit with them and I love it — every aspect of it.”

Sooners’ coach Lincoln Riley and Gilliam stay in touch, with topics of conversation going beyond football, Gilliam says.

“(We talk) every week, basically very frequently, about our families how our day is going things like that.”

Currently, the Sooners have 11 defensive linemen, with seven of them either being freshman or sophomores. The roster does not include a player from the state of Virginia. 

Recently, the Sooners received commitments from linebackers Clayton Smith and Danny Stutsman. The Sooners currently have the 25th best 2021 class with a 247Sports Composite score of 0.9202.

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The Longhorns are also in contention for Gilliam Jr. 

Texas is a team on the rise back to prominence, and Gilliam could be the key to getting it over the edge, not only in the Big 12, but potentially nationally.

“I just had my virtual visit with them and it was very informative about Austin itself and how the coaching staff plans to use me in their defense,” Gilliam commented. “(They see me as) an every-down player that can play outside or inside defender.”

Currently, the Longhorns have 15 defensive linemen, with 10 of those being freshman or sophomores. No players on the active roster are from Virginia.

In the 2021 class, Texas is ranked first in the Big 12 and eighth nationally. Texas has no defensive tackle commits as of right now, but it did recently pick up a pledge from four-star defensive end Jordon Thomas out of Texas.

Oklahoma is the only Big 12 team on Gilliam’s top 15, but his recruitment remains open. On May 13, LSU offered Gilliam and the defensive tackle picked up an offer from Florida on April 22.

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