The Oklahoma Sooners once again dipped into the mid-Atlantic region to sign a coveted defensive recruit in Kelvin Gilliam. The four-star defensive lineman inked his letter of intent with the Sooners on Wednesday.
Kelvin, welcome home - https://t.co/QBIrXElg3H@Kelvin_Gilliam2 | #LincUpXXI pic.twitter.com/u7PUgDjEla— Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) December 16, 2020
Hailing from Highland Springs, Virginia, Gilliam ranked 104th overall among the country’s 2021 prospects, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, and sixth among weak side defensive ends. OU defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux held off a strong charge from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to secure Gilliam’s signature.
Gilliam joins his Highland Springs teammate Damond Harmon in signing Wednesday with the Sooners.
How Gilliam fits
Gilliam feels like an easy fit as a three-tech defensive tackle in Alex Grinch’s defense. He’s already carrying 250 pounds on his 6’3” frame, so adding more weight to sustain the physical toll of playing inside shouldn’t come as a problem.
Assuming he bulks up without sacrificing his speed, Gilliam could cause serious problems for offensive linemen by shooting through gaps on the weak side of formations. He also seems to have enough of a motor to stay with plays from start to finish, enabling him to chase down action flowing away from him.
Gilliam probably won’t have an immediate spot awaiting him in the rotation on the DL when he arrives in Norman. He could earn some spot duty at DT in the fall, however, and grow into more of a contributor the following year.