Greg Gilmore’s mom wanted her son to stay closer to their home in North Carolina and go to Florida.
But she also wanted her son to follow his heart, and his heart led him Thursday to commit to the LSU Tigers.
A four-star defensive tackle prospect, Gilmore (6-foot-4, 285 pounds) chose the Tigers over the Gators with an announcement live on ESPNU’s “Recruiting Nation” show.
“I’m going to Louisiana State,” Gilmore said, pulling an LSU cap out of a black bag.
Gilmore also considered Oklahoma, but was blown away by his official visit to LSU for last Saturday’s Alabama game.
“It was wild,” Gilmore said. “I’ve never seen a crowd like that. The fans know who you are. When they knew who I was, that really got me.”
Gilmore said he wrestled with his choice between the academics and proximity of Florida and his affinity for the atmosphere of LSU, not making his decision until Wednesday.
“It was hard,” Gilmore said.
“Laying in bed, I didn’t get any sleep. I did all the what-ifs. ‘What if I went to Florida and missed out on LSU? What if I went to LSU and missed out on Florida.’ ”
In the final analysis, Gilmore figured he would miss LSU more. He called coaches from all three schools Wednesday night to inform them of his decision.
“They (LSU’s coaches) were happy,” Gilmore said. “They were kind of shaky about whether I would go to Florida. The education at Florida is what my mom loves and I really wanted to make her happy.”
In the end, Gilmore made the choice that made him happiest.
With LSU losing up to six players on its defensive line, Gilmore believes he will have an opportunity to contribute immediately.
Gilmore is LSU’s 24th commitment for the Class of 2013 and one of the best the Tigers have landed. He is ranked No. 52 nationally on the Scout 300, No. 104 on the ESPN 150, No. 12 on the 24/7 Sports Top 247 and No. 202 on the Rivals 250.
Gilmore’s commitment paid immediate dividends for LSU’s national recruting rankings. The Tigers moved up one spot to No. 9 on ESPN’s top 10 list. LSU is also No. 9 according to 24/7 Sports, but No. 3 per Rivals and No. 6 according to Scout.
The commitment from Gilmore, who preps at Hope Mills (N.C.) South View near Fayetteville, N.C., is LSU’s second from a defensive tackle in the past few days.
The Tigers picked up a pledge from Lincoln (Neb.) Southwest defensive tackle Christian LaCouture (6-5, 267) during his official visit over the weekend.