One day after he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year, Arik Gilbert of Marietta, Georgia made it official and signed with LSU.

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan surprised Gilbert with the award in front of family, friends, teammates and coaches at his school, and Gilbert was visibly shocked to see Ryan. Gilbert is the top-ranked tight end recruit in the country, and committed to LSU in October as the Tigers reportedly beat out Alabama and Georgia.

The award covers athletic, academic and character accomplishes for the high school athletes.

Gilbert topped the list of 51 state winners in football, including 9 All-American Bowl Game participants, 27 All-State players, 7 SEC school committees and nearly all volunteering with at least two organizations.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder led the Blue Devils to a 13-2 record and the Class 7A State Championship. Gilbert caught 102 passes for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns through 15 games.

The founder of a campus-wide initiative called “Whisper,” which urges students to have device-free conversations and supports diversity and inclusion efforts, Gilbert has also volunteered on behalf of the East Atlanta Kids Club, Habitat for Humanity and March of Dimes.

A parishioner at the Life Revolution Church, Gilbert has also donated more than 50 hours to Marietta elementary schools and the Marietta Youth Football program. “Arik Gilbert is one of the best players I’ve ever coached against,” said John Reid, head coach at Rome High School. “He’s huge, fast and has great hands. He’s the best player on the field at any position he lines up.”