Gilbert: Switching to Tennessee 'best decision of my life'

#1

kamoshika

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#1
If legendary Oregon State head coach Pat Casey hadn’t suddenly retired a few months after winning his third national championship in 2018, Drew Gilbert would’ve played college baseball 3,000 miles away in a different shade of orange. Casey’s decision threw a wrench into the powerful, pint-sized lefty’s recruitment, though, and the big prospect in a small package surprised plenty of people by ditching the Beavers for Tennessee.

It made little sense on the surface. Knoxville wasn’t any closer than Corvallis for a native of Stillwater, Minn., and Tennessee hadn’t even been to the NCAA Tournament since 2005 — when it went to the College World Series for the third time in 11 years before going into the wilderness for a while. And while the Vols’ Lindsey Nelson Stadium isn’t a decrepit hellscape of a ballpark, it’s a far cry from virtually every other park in the Southeastern Conference.

Gilbert had a hunch, though. He believed in new Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello — a man who’d just finished his first season coaching the Vols and still wasn’t 40 years old. “I mean, this guy right next to me, you know, he's, he's the reason I wanted to come here,” Gilbert said Sunday night while pointing to Vitello. “He made me believe in a vision. And, I wanted to go somewhere where, you know, we could do something special.” Something special is indeed happening in Knoxville. And Gilbert is a big part of the reason for that.

Gilbert: Switching to Tennessee 'best decision of my life'
 
#5

GregAmsler

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#5
He’s got a good arrogance about him that teams need. It can rub some people the wrong way. But it rubs off on teammates in a good way. Peerless Price was that guy for the 98 Vols. And like Price, Gilbert is best when the pressure is highest.

He’s the perfect centerpiece to get this program to the next level. Glad he became a Vol.
 
#7

CINCYVOL

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#7
He’s got a good arrogance about him that teams need. It can rub some people the wrong way. But it rubs off on teammates in a good way. Peerless Price was that guy for the 98 Vols. And like Price, Gilbert is best when the pressure is highest.

He’s the perfect centerpiece to get this program to the next level. Glad he became a Vol.
He’s like JaJuan Smith was in basketball. Love when he’s on your team, but hated to play against.
 
#9
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#9
He’s got a good arrogance about him that teams need. It can rub some people the wrong way. But it rubs off on teammates in a good way. Peerless Price was that guy for the 98 Vols. And like Price, Gilbert is best when the pressure is highest.

He’s the perfect centerpiece to get this program to the next level. Glad he became a Vol.
Swag. Every team needs just the right amount. The teams without it usually suck.
 

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