Football Recruiting: Gibson's Story Just Beginning

By Jeremy Birmingham on January 21, 2014 at 5:04p
Torrance Gibson
56 Comments

Football is a complicated game, one that takes athleticism, intelligence, mental and physical toughness and, above all else, an unrelenting will to win. It's a game that has truly become America's game and to most of us who eat, breathe and sleep the pigskin, it's become a way of life.

It's not easy to be a great football player, but some people are so supremely gifted that it appears to be second-nature. They run through defenses, they leap over defensive backs and they fit tight spirals into seemingly absent windows and we marvel at their talents. They are the rare athletes we all dreamed of being as kids. They are the "next level."

Torrance Gibson is that type of athlete, but even he didn't recognize it until just before he entered American Heritage High School in Fort Lauderdale.

"I had just played in my 8th grade all-star game," Gibson told Eleven Warriors. "That's when everyone started talking about me. The excitement about the game kept me going cause I love to play football and watching it everyday really got me going, cause when I was watching TV one day, watching an NFL game I told myself 'I'm going to be there someday,' and ever since then I have been working hard to keep getting better."

Up until now, that pursuit of perfection has paid off handsomely for Gibson, the nation's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2015 recruiting class according to 247Sports.com's composite feature. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Gibson has the size and speed (he regularly runs the 40-yard-dash in sub 4.5 seconds) combination that coaching staffs around the country dream about. His athleticism is so rare that many people suggest he'd be the best wide receiver in the country if he was interested in playing the position, but Gibson insists that he's a signal-caller in college and that's what he is expecting from any school recruiting him.

Gibson is a quarterback - not just an athlete.Gibson working hard to perfect his craft.

He's working hard to become more than just an "athlete playing quarterback," and he expects it to pay off.

"(So far) every coach that has offered me has said that they want me at quarterback," he says about rumors some schools would prefer him in different roles. "I run track and I think that's helped when it comes to running an up-tempo spread offense, because obviously you have to be in shape. I work out everyday besides Sundays — well sometimes on Sundays, too (laughs) — Then I make sure I throw on Tuesday,Thursday and Friday and work on my footwork."

With a steady work-ethic to go along with elite level athleticism, Gibson's skillset is ideal to run the spread in college, and the Buckeyes are hoping to convince him that their version is the right one for him. Gibson acknowledges it's one he's familiar with.

"The Buckeye coaches said that I'm their guy, I'm the guy the want to run their offense," Gibson said of his regular communication with Ohio State. "They run the spread offense which I run at my school and I feel comfortable running the offense. Braxton Miller's the man, and I've taken some notes watching him this year."

As Gibson's star continues to rise, as the hoopla around his commitment begins to take off, he's learning quickly what being a top-ranked recruit in 2014 is about. His Twitter feed is constantly inundated with fans from all over the country doing their part to recruit the 2013 state champion to their favorite school. At this point, it's not something Gibson sees a problem with, but he recognizes with fame comes the potential for dramatics. Last week, a fan on Twitter was pretending to be fellow Buckeye quarterback target Brandon Wimbush in order to stir up drama, which opened Gibson's eyes a bit about what "fans" are capable of.

"The fans on Twitter get me hype, honestly, and believe it or not, it makes me want to visit their school," Gibson said of his newfound fame. "I appreciate all the love that they have been showing me recently. They strangest thing was a kid asked me to send him my jersey and autograph it to him, but it was an honor to have someone ask that since I am only in high school."

"I know it's going to get worse, and it's a blessing of course, and I just want to thank the man upstairs for giving me the opportunity to play this game," he continued. "I really don't know how I'm going to handle that you know? Because people come and people go and a lot of people have been using me all my life."

A true dual-threatGibson is more Terrelle Pryor on the field than Braxton Miller.

Perhaps nothing has more potential peril than potential itself, and Gibson is learning quickly that the world has two types of people: those who grab on for their own self-interest and those who are truly there to act in his best interest. He says that deciphering between the two groups isn't as hard as people would think, and he's got an excellent support group that helps keep him focused and on the right track.

"You can just tell when someone is real and (someone) that's fake," he said. "I've got my mom, (Heritage assistant) Coach Mario Perez, the Flory's family, all of my coaches and my family. They made me realize I can't ever let go of my dreams, to keep taking care of business with my grades; those are the important things.

"I grew up rough, in a single parent house, saw people coming and going out of my life all the time. I'd be a kid and see all these people smoking weed, I've seen people get shot at," Gibson said of his childhood. "I've seen people do hard drugs right in front of my face. I never told my mom I saw that stuff all the time cause I didn't want her to get scared that I was going to get involved in that life."

"I took a different path because I knew I had a future ahead of me,  I had to put on my big boy pants and go out and chase my dream cause I have something special and I have to use the talent God gave me," he continued. "I just keep my head in the books and keep striving to be the best I can be in the classroom and the football field. Right now I'm doing good in school, but I kind of suck in math (laughs,) but I'm doing good. I want to be a sports manager or maybe an agent after football."

Gibson's supporting cast is deep, but he says freely that he's missing one key element: his estranged father.

"Not being able to see my dad everyday, that keeps me grounded. Every time I think about that it motivates me because I watch my mom struggle everyday," Gibson says of his father, gone from his son's life for years without explanation or reason. "Sometimes it brings tears in my eyes, I've texted him a few times, sometimes I've gotten a response, sometimes I don't. I never know what to expect. I can't just sit there and cry, I have to man up and reach my full potential in life and playing football is going to help me get there, regardless of who is there for me. I always hope he is doing okay and one day we can just have even one more day together, but until that day comes I have to still keep fighting on and playing the game of football to make the best of things for my mom and myself."

The first step to the big-time for Gibson is college, and while he's got a few favorites — Ohio State, LSU, Miami and Notre Dame top his list currently — he's not in any hurry to make a choice, even though he knows an early commitment from a quarterback could be a major boon to his future team's recruiting success.

"I'm just gonna take my time," Gibson told 11W. "I know (committing early) could help a lot, because I think if I commited to a big time school people will follow because they'd know we are going to build a great dynasty. I will commit after I take all my visits and probably after my high school senior season. I need a place that can help me get a great education — that's the most important thing — but also has a great coaching staff and a great program; a great city on and off campus."

Get ready Buckeye fans, your future quarterback could be right in front of you, but the story isn't written yet, it's just beginning.

56 Comments

Comments

buckguy10's picture

Man the ease at which he throws those 40-50 yard bombs on a rope is reminiscent of Vick. Kid will tear it up wherever he decides to play football.!

dwcbuckeye's picture

Great write up Birm.
 
Love this guys speed but more so the touch he is getting on the ball when it is called for.  Good kid, good luck to him

blocko330's picture

That size, that speed, a Lefty, and we're already in his ear - - me likey!!!

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

- TruthTeller

otrain2416's picture

Great write up, kind of a bummer he's waiting until after his senior season to commit cuz if we wait on him and miss then we have to start from ground zero. Plus I feel a QB can be the leader of a class if he commits early. However, I completely respect him though for being honest and upfront saying he's gonna take his visits rather than committing somewhere early then having second thoughts. 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Buckeyes would like to take two QBs in 2015, Gibson is one and they hope Brandon Wimbush is the second.

Nashville Buckeye's picture

Damn.  Two of these highlights were against my high school alma mater.  It takes a lot to get those guys out of place and Torrance makes them all look like pee-wee players.  TOSU would be a terrific fit for this young man.  Best of luck to him.
 

gm3jones's picture

Lol... yeah I went to West high and played against marurice hall four times during my years of high school. I dont think he ever went for under 200 yards in any contest, and we only lost that game both years (by a wide, wide margin). Never forget trying to tackle him in open space quite a few times.... It wasnt even fair, made me look stupid. 

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

BtownBuckeye's picture

He has this thing called touch, braxton doesnt have it consistently.

njclebuckeye5's picture

That deep ball looks so casual. Yet beautiful.

Lobs it to the endzone... Touchdown Devin Smith!!

gm3jones's picture

Exactly what I was thinking. It is like it is shot out of a rocket and it just so beautiful. I am starting to really like this kid.

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

One look at this kid and you can tell he's going to be a star. Wow.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Murph32's picture

@Birm, do you think Gibson would consider playing receiver his first two years just to get on the field assuming we have Barrett running things at the QB spot?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

He'll want a shot to play QB in college first and foremost, but I presume if he's on a campus with a entrenched starter for a year or two he might be willing to play other spots to get on the field.

Murph32's picture

Thanks, seems like a kid you just want on the field 

BoFuquel's picture

Looks good. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

BROSEPH's picture


Randy's feeling good too.

tressel12's picture

Man this kid looks like he will be special at the next level. His body type reminds me of Pryor but the deep ball seems to be more refined especially on the run.
Favorite part of the video is about the 2:30 minute mark when he evades pressure and throws close to a 50 yd dart into the end zone with accuracy on the run while facing pressure. This guy is going to be a name college football will remember for a long time no matter where he goes if he stays healthy (obviously hopefully THE Ohio State Buckeyes would be preferred.)

Because I couldn't go for three. -- Woody Hayes

UrbanAssaultVehicle's picture

I definitely agree with the article I feel like Im watching Terrel Pryor HS higlight videos.  The way Gibson runs though is more RG3, just ridiculous looking track speed.  Seems like the real deal.  Get after em Urban.

DenBuck's picture

Would this be the greatest "get" in OSU history? Besides URBZ?

Buckeye For Life

gm3jones's picture

I wouldn't go that far, but it would be a very, very big get. It is far to difficult to say that until we see what he does on the field IMO

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

saltybuck61's picture

Maybe, but that guy Terrelle Pryor may take that honor for pure high school rankings. However, if we are talking about production on the field, we will have to see him in college first.

bucknut8's picture

Kid reminds me of a better Pryor playing style. BUT Im more impressed with him as a person, his personality and how mature of a young man he is than his game. His game is off the charts, but to read some of the things he said and how he worded it and how he explained things, is just crazy. the kid has a great head on his shoulders and seems to be headed in the right direction for sure. Im rooting for this young man no matter where he goes. Hes a great athlete and a great kid. these are the type of guys you root for no matter what. Hopefully he joins the Buckeye family though.

#Buckeyes

cinserious's picture

I absolutely agree with this comment. As much as he looks like the next 'great one' in the college ranks, I was maybe even more impressed with his demeanor and maturity from this interview. Its pretty awesome how in depth we all got to know about him. Thanks to Birmingham for getting a scoop of this magnitude, and thanks to Gibson for providing us with a piece of his mind. Urban has been bringing in so many high quality/high character young men since he's been HC and Gibson would be a great ambassador for the program for years to come.
Another thing I appreciate is Gibson's candor when talking about his not really knowing his dad. I really feel for the kid. Its a damn shame when young boys and girls really try hard to build a relationship with an estranged parent to no avail. Circumstances may have caused the separation in the first place but its really selfish and cowardly to not even make an attempt to know your own kids. Some kids and adults are more forgiving than others when it comes to bridging the gap but Pete's sake, at least try!

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

ODEEZ330's picture

My number 1 want for 2015 #stud

O'Deez330
stark county football

ghalephoto's picture

Def needs to stay at QB, nice arm and he has a great disposition...be a nice get.

cinserious's picture

Yep, time would need to be spent teaching Gibson all the fundamentals and nuances of playing WR at the college level. That time would be better spent grooming him to be the next great QB at Ohio State. I know Gibson is a monster athlete but at OSU, the competition would be fierce and I imagine it would be difficult to wrest playing time from the pure receivers.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

Doc's picture

Wowza!  Please be a Buckeye!  You would be a perfect fit to our offense.  Plus, we have better academics than LSU, and there are more things to do in C-bus than there is in South Bend.  We've got everything you are looking for.

"Say my name."

zacisone's picture

A man against kids for sure.

Zacisone

tdible2132's picture

Do we know if he has any idea of when he plans to visit OSU? A spring game visit would be huge. Then get him on campus for a game next year and I love our chances.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Excellent article on a great player!  Sure would love to see him in Scarlet and Gray!
Go Bucks!!

WhySoSerious's picture

I'm on his jock. No homo. I think this kid is an absolute beast. I love me a lefty throwing the ball. Hope we land this dude. 

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

HotSauceCommittee's picture

Wow. Two minutes into the video and gotta say I am a fan. 

dubjayfootball90's picture

i have not watched a full highlight video in a long time, whether it be 2 minutes or 10, but I had to finish this one, and I was upset when it was over. WOW!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

Knarcisi's picture

He has a longer film, about 10 minutes.  I stopped after 4, seeing everything I needed to see. 

AtlGABuckeye's picture

This kid has a great head on his shoulders as well as a special gift.  But I think I like this kids heart the best.  Fit right in with the Buckeye Nation family.  

"Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Thomas's picture

This guy will break records, wherever he decides to go. 

buckeyedude's picture

I wonder what idiots/schools want this kid at receiver? This kid obviously is a QB.

 

 

Toilrt Paper's picture

8th grade All-Star Game???

AngryWoody's picture

"I took a different path because I knew I had a future ahead of me,  I had to put on my big boy pants and go out and chase my dream cause I have something special and I have to use the talent God gave me," he continued. "I just keep my head in the books and keep striving to be the best I can be in the classroom and the football field. Right now I'm doing good in school, but I kind of suck in math (laughs,) but I'm doing good. I want to be a sports manager or maybe an agent after football."

Such great character. Thanks Birm for writing a story about a recruit that is more than just "His forty speed is X. He is X tall. He has X stars." and really letting us get to know his story and who he is. Things like this are why 11W has the best recruiting coverage out there.

Our Honor Defend!

nrbuckguy's picture

Looks like a taller version of Braxton to me with similar playmaking ability as well as kind of poor pocket presence at this stage.  If he can learn to consistently step up into the pocket instead of immediately trying to get outside on the edge he could be an outstanding college player.

In Urban We Trust

UFest57's picture

TP version 2.0
I can only pray for an early commit from this kid!

CowCat's picture

This guy is straight out of Tecmo Super Bowl for the NES.     He can throw 110 yards off his back foot and zig zag 90 yards for a TD. 

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

Knarcisi's picture

Gibson > Bo Jackson on Techmo Bowl. 

wyatt's picture

Meyer knows how to coach a left hander. He should come to OSU and become the best left-handed QB since.......I don't even know of one who played in the horseshoe.

CowCat's picture

That's a good question.  Who was the last lefty?

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

hit_the_couch's picture

200lbs just doesn't sound that thick for that height. Hopefully this kid comes to tOSU and becomes a beast. I'm sure he's tough; I know how hard it is to be left handed.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

Buck Commander's picture

Terrell Pryor v2.0.  BEAST!!!!!!!!!

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

Jbucks's picture

I would love to get this kid, #1 target for sure, but still not sure as to why u want 2 top QBs in a class especially with (presumably) JT & Stephen Collier working out, I could see offering another QB with great potential but needs work to develop behind the 3 (including Gibson) but I dont see Gibson taking this spot along with Wimbush bcuz 1 of them wpuld be signing up for the bench & not the ticket to NFL that they might get somewhere else. BUT IM ALL FOR IT, Gibson is my choice.

@Birm any new word comin from Jaxques Patrick from FL.? (aka Baby Carlos?)

Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it-John 1:5 SEC meet Ohio State, Ohio State meet SEC

Julius Erving's picture

The Pryor comparison is good only for body style and running/scrambling ability.  This kid is a much better passer than Pryor ever dreamed of being.

2002osubuck's picture

I have to say, this is one of the most honest and humble, yet confident, young man I've heard in awhile. He seems to have a lot of wisdom for being so young. I would like nothing more than see him come to tOSU and be a part of the buckeye family for life. Hes very inspiring and would be a great leader at the QB, not to mention, hes seems like a great person in general. Hope to see him in S&G in a few years.

Jabba the Hoke's picture

The TP comparison is there, but Gibson's touch at this point seems better to me. Though, its unlikely he is as tough to tackle as Pryor. I always laughed pretty hard whe TP would stiff-arm a d-lineman to his back.