Commentary

Malik Gilmore catching on

At the Under Armour Los Angeles combine, Watch List WR Gilmore opened some eyes

Originally Published: March 6, 2011
By Sean Ceglinsky | ESPNLosAngeles.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- At 6-foot-3 and 200-plus pounds, it wasn't difficult to spot ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect Malik Gilmore (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood) once he stepped out on the football field Sunday at the Los Angeles Under Armour combine, a day-long event that took place at Santa Monica College.

Given his stature and imposing presence, one might have expected the 2012 prospect to huddle up with the linebackers before the drill phase of things got underway. However, Gilmore is no linebacker. Far from it, in fact.

[+] EnlargeMalik Gilmore
Davide De PasMalik Gilmore already has six offers some big-time programs like Michigan and Notre Dame.

His talents are better suited on the offensive side of the ball. And Gilmore proved as much time and time again when he lined up at his customary position on the outside, wide receiver. He made the tough catches appear routine, and in doing so Gilmore nearly stole the show.

"I was trying to come out here and get some work done, you know, get some reps in, and hopefully, get better," Gilmore said. "This is a great event, you can get a lot of exposure at an event like this. My goal was to make sure that I went hard today, maybe open some eyes out there."

Mission accomplished.

He graded out well during the morning practice, which included the vertical and broad jumps, as well as the various cone exercises and the timed running portions. However, Gilmore truly excelled in the afternoon session, especially the one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills.

"Malik has the physical tools, he's a big guy, fast and strong, he has all the measurables," said Muhsin Muhammad, a 14-year NFL veteran who was on hand at the Under Armour combine working with the wideouts. "He's a kid you can coach, a smart and talented kid with a future."

Apparently, Muhammad isn't the only individual who thinks that Gilmore possesses some upside. He's been contacted by numerous FBS programs and has scholarship offers on the table from Duke, Michigan, Notre Dame, San Diego State, Utah and Washington.

"Yeah, I have six schools that want me to sign, but I'm keeping my options open right now," Gilmore said. "I'm looking forward to my senior year. After that, we'll see what's up."

As a junior at Lakewood, he was not the first option. Nevertheless, Gilmore still managed to finish with 28 receptions for 463 yards and six touchdowns.

"Malik has the opportunity to be a big-time player, no doubt," Lakewood coach Thadd MacNeal said. "I think he came out here and showed everyone what he capable of doing."

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com.