Written by EJ Holland
Highland Park QB John Robert Gilley on Texas Tech, Baylor and SMU's recruiting radar
John Robert Gilley has never started a game for Highland Park. In fact, he didn’t even attempt a pass last season as he spent the entire year observing starting quarterback Jet Tuma.
But that hasn’t stopped FBS programs from showing interest in the 2014 signal caller, and Gilley is eager to show why.
“I’m excited about being the starter now. It’s going to be tough to replace a legend like Jet Tuma, but I’m ready,” he said before taking part in Schuman’s National Underclassmen Combine in Duncanville last weekend. “I want to show everybody what I can do and hopefully pick up some offers.”
Unlike Tuma, Gilley is a pure pocket passer. At 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, he has a big arm and a quick release, which is why playing in an Air Raid offense like Texas Tech’s would be ideal.
“I really like Tech’s offense because it’s a pass happy offense. The old staff was showing a lot of interest in me, but I’m looking forward to hearing from Coach (Kliff) Kingsbury now,” he said. “I was invited to their game against West Virginia last year, and it was great. I really enjoyed it.”
Texas Tech isn’t the only school high on his list. After attending a camp at Baylor last summer, Gilley has been hearing more and more from the Bears’ staff and holds a special connection to the school.
“My mom went there so it would be great if I were to play there,” Gilley said. “Baylor is in a great college town, and I really like the campus. After the camp, the coaches said they would be in contact, and I’ve been getting a lot of stuff lately.”
While playing in a BCS conference like the Big 12 would be a dream come true, Gilley could see himself staying at home and playing in June Jones’ Run N’ Shoot offense, which is another pass heavy scheme.
“SMU is a really good school, and it’s obviously close to home,” he said. “I really like it, and they are one of my top schools.”
Gilley says he hopes to continue showcasing his skills at camps this offseason and believes his recruitment will really start picking up once he gets under center for the Scots this fall.
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