How Torrance Gibson's Affinity With Urban Meyer Made Ohio State a Serious Contender Again

By Patrick Maks on July 26, 2014 at 6:00a
Torrance Gibson left Friday Night Lights all smiles.

Under the veil of night, Urban Meyer and Torrance Gibson left Ohio Stadium side-by-side, beaming like two old pals who just needed to catch up.

Prior to their Friday Night Lights encounter, Ohio State’s annual recruiting showcase extravaganza, the two hadn’t seen each other since January, where Gibson watched the Buckeyes practice near his hometown of Fort Lauderdale before losing to Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

Gibson, one of the nation’s finest and most sought after quarterback recruits, is a tall (6-foot-4), lanky (195 pounds) and lighting-fast (4.4 40-yard dash) athlete. Think Terrelle Pryor, but skinnier and more agile.

He was born to play in Meyer’s spread offense. The Buckeyes want him and the feeling, at times, seemed mutual.

A lot’s happened since then.  

Gibson released a top 15 of potential suitors in May. Ohio State ranked fourth behind Tennessee, Auburn and LSU.

A month later, the Buckeyes curiously dropped to seventh after telling in June communication between him and the school had cooled and an anticipated visit to Columbus was consequently up in the air.

“I haven't been in contact with any of their coaches since I don't know when,” he said.

A lot’s happened since then, too.

After a series of guessing games, Gibson announced he was indeed heading north from South Florida for Friday Night Lights Wednesday: 

But there was one catch: he wasn’t going to camp. He wanted to visit a campus he’d never seen and explore a city he’d never been to.

After all, the Buckeyes had already offered. They think he can be a star. There wasn’t much left to prove.

Later in the day, an old coach from back home got him to change his mind.

“He was like, ‘throw that rock,’” Gibson said. “So I had to come out here and do what I do best.”

Because, despite having offers from just about every major school in the country, an unordinary combination of size and skill has led some to say he’s better off as a wide receiver or some other skill position.

“I’m not an athlete,” Gibson said at The Opening earlier this month. “I’m a quarterback.”

And this, this massive, sparkling spectacle of recruiting warfare, was a chance to prove that in front of Ohio State.

But most of all, it was a chance to rekindle a relationship with Meyer, a man who so carefully curates his quarterbacks, his generals.

“When he saw me, he started jumping up around,” Gibson said.

“He was eating. He stopped eating, and started jumping up around and it was crazy.”

Out of the roughly 200 campers there, Meyer chose to spend his final moments with Gibson before the pair exited the Horseshoe like rockstars hurrying to get back on a tour bus.

The two embraced and parted ways. Now alone with his thoughts and a group of reporters and recruiting analysts -- most of whom he’s never met -- Gibson bashfully bowed his head and flashed a wide and pearly smile that was bright in even the dead of night.

Question: “What stood about seeing Ohio State for the first time?”

“Everything. Coach Urban Meyer,” he said.

“He’s a hyped coach. Everything. He’s just juiced up. Every time I see him.”

It was clear Meyer and this grand night gave Gibson something to think about. And that gave Gibson pause.

On Thursday, he wrote this in a blog through USA TODAY documenting his recruitment:

Tennessee is my leader, but I'm headed to Ohio State tomorrow for the Friday Night Lights Camp; I don't know what'll happen after that as far as who will be in the lead. Just gotta see what happens when I get there. I don't know if there's anything that they can do really; I already really like Ohio State, I think it's just a feeling that I'll get. We'll see.

So what about now?

“A lot of Ohio State fans will be happy after this (next) list I put out,” he said.

“Ohio State fans are going to be really happy.”


Comments Show All Comments

FROMTHE18's picture

meh, Im really happy he had a good time and that OSU appears to be in good shape to land him but I feel like this will be one of several 'list updates' between now and his commitment. I hope he takes his time with the process and reviews all of the angles, but until he signs on the dotted line, I am skeptical as to what his true feelings are. 

+19 HS
USMC11917's picture

There are some recruits that when they say the Buckeyes are in the lead or are favorites to gain their commitment, I get excited about. I'm with Fromthe18. I'll think it a positive if were listed as leaders but I won't be as optimistic with this recruit until I hear those same words a few days before NSD.

+5 HS
rdubs's picture

Probably a long recruitment coming, but I'd rather be in first now than in 7th.  If he makes it for The Game as his official, that can only help us as signing day approaches.

+8 HS
cajunbuckeye's picture

Getting Gibson on campus was huge. The Ohio State University, (coaching staff, facilities, campus,etc...) is more than capable of selling itself. Seeing is believing and I believe Ohio State has the best to offer.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

+2 HS
cinserious's picture

He's in town for the whole weekend so he can tour the rest of campus as well as check out some cool spots in Columbus. Should be a great time. 

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

+3 HS
ChazBuckeye's picture

Great reaction....but let's keep this in perspective as opposed to gushing like school girls over the new hot guy (as this kid does after every visit it seems). As I've stated before when news broke he was visiting for FNL, don't be surprised if this lasts till signing day or after.

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

+3 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

An untalked about piece of the Gibson puzzle is his star power and ability to attract other recruits. If Gibson is in, that turns heads immediately. Only problem is he will wait until the end to commit more or less nullifying his own affect. It's like the Browns drafting Manziel or moving up a few yrs ago to get Brady Quinn. Created a much needed buzz.

+5 HS
cinserious's picture

Good point but our class will be smallish and space is starting to get tight anyway. We have plenty of stars in plus more on the way regardless of Gibson.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

BroJim's picture

I still this he is a long shot but this weekend really helped OSU

I season my simple food with hunger

+1 HS
jonping67's picture

A long shot is 10 to 1. We are trending 75% in my opinion and I think tOSU will be the leader when his next list comes.

If Meyers want TG we will get him, bank on it!

+3 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I don't think he's a long shot at all. After last night, I believe we have to be the favorites. We'll see if it stays that way.



Unky Buck's picture

Long shot?

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

+3 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

First time on campus, and this was a good beginning. Most of us thought that it would never happen, so I am curious to see how it all plays out.

+1 HS
Jeremypreemo81's picture

Would love to see him in our offense. I specifically watched him last night.  Kid has a hand cannon for an arm.  He was in the group w Clark and what I assumed Joe the committed qb. Was a fun group to watch when the WR's went against the DB's

+2 HS
DC-town's picture

Good potential player, great class already.  Great job to the staff for adding 2 more, numbers are getting right in the class when you look at how many potentials we have left-

'Piss excellence' -RB

-1 HS
OSUBias's picture

Seems like an easy kid to root for. Very smiley.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

+3 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

My hope is that he makes it back up for an official visit before he makes a choice. He obviously enjoys OSU, but my concern is he won't take that opportunity. He had a moment with Urban at the end there, he needs to see what the shoe is like at a game. He still hasn't had that chance and I hope he knows it is a must. 

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

+4 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

To certian extent, it will be up to Urban and the Buckeye football team to produce a product that, if not in the new playoff bracket,at least in the disussion for a spot in early December. Winning will speak for itself.

+1 HS
wyatt's picture

I'm taking the Terrelle Pryor comparison only for the physical abilities. Not the recruiting game.

+1 HS
cinserious's picture
“When he saw me, he started jumping up around,” Gibson said.

“He was eating. He stopped eating, and started jumping up around and it was crazy.”

urban happy
Yeah, we know how you feel Torrance. We know exactly how you feel.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

+10 HS
OSUStu's picture

+1 for what you were trying to do here.  But, man, I could go my whole life without seeing that first gif again.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+7 HS
Buckeye Rocket Sci's picture

Same here. I was scrolling down, got to the first gif and was just like "Come on, mannn!" (bad, bad memories). Understood where he was going by the time I got to the second gif, but still didn't relieve the dread.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence" - Calvin Coolidge

+2 HS
jonping67's picture

Painful 1st GIF.....24 game win streak gone......B1G Title gone.....National Title gone.....Dude delete the GIF please, terrible memories.

+4 HS
TobyMagic's picture

Would be great to see this class finish on a high note and add some of these big fish. Always excited to see guys who earn and accept offers at camps but mix in a couple of these 'freaks' that are left and we could have something special.

reysports's picture

I think he should base his decision on which school program will give him the BEST chance of enhancing his future endeavors, along with the BEST support team to help him get to where he wants to go. Torrance, that will be The Ohio State University with Urban Meyer.


OH1O State's picture

Very interesting to note that he wants to plan his official visit for the game vs. TTUN... 

That would be a month after he announces his commitment.

+1 HS
THEOSUfan's picture

I'm too old to spend one second worrying about how some 17 year old feels this week.  Even if this kid would commit, he sounds like he may get a different feeling later.  If he signs, that will be exciting, but I can't take these guys acting like the prettiest girl at the dance who wants to see how many boys she can get to flit around her.

+1 HS
buckeyestu's picture

Think his announcement date may change.

KBonay's picture

I think many of you are still seeing TG for his exploits at the beginning of the recruiting process.  He has learned a ton from this process and has slowed on the game-playing and focused on performing. At Nike event, said he was only going to play qb, but backed off that once he was there and ran some at WR. He also said he was not camping at FNL but then proceeded to participate.  Seems like his ego has given way to his  senses. Kid wants to play. And prove himself. I think he's done playing the recruiting games. And with Buckeyes coming out his leader after a visit has to be a great sign. 

+1 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Still a long way to go, but I like this latest development.  The relationship he builds with Urban will be key.  A head coach/QB relationship is very important in football world.  I think that that gives us an edge.  Will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Go Bucks!

blocko330's picture

Anyone know how many fans were in the stands?

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

- TruthTeller

unknownmusketeer's picture

My estimate was around 9,000 to 10,000. It was enough people so that when speakers like Mike Doss yelled, "O-H," there was a robust "I-O" response.

blocko330's picture

Nice size -- thanks for the insight.

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

- TruthTeller

Citrus's picture

We complain when guys commit and then flip (unless of course they flip to us). We say "commitment means you're committed so make sure you're 100% before you commit." Gibson is taking his time because he isn't sure. Dude could play QB for just about every major program in the country. I am a huge Ohio State fan. If I were in his shoes, I would make the most of it too. I would see all the great college programs I could. I would meet the legendary coaches and see the legendary match ups. I would give myself options. I would take my time. Then when I committed I would know that I was in the right place and I'd be a recruiting machine.

Gibson seems like a nice kid. He is enjoying the process. I say good for him. I have a feeling when he commits somewhere its gonna stick.

+3 HS
edr4225's picture

lets go bucks!!

+7 HS
Urban Nation Army's picture

Bet you can't say "Bert Bielma is a bumbling buffoon" five times fast.

+2 HS
CGroverL's picture

Of course this is not a game between Ohio State and TSUN with the winner being the one that ends up with the best rated classes by ESPN, Yahoo, etc. but I have loved the last couple of years when the Michelin Man (Brady "I'm from Dayton but I'm a M*ch*gan Man at heart" Hoke) shot his load early gaining M*ch*gan some top notch recruits only for Meyer to rip his heart out around NSD as TSUN has none or close to no spots left open to grab a late 5 star pick that ends up in Columbus.

It seems the opposite this year as Meyer is fighting for recruits early (which IS a good thing, I wasn't trying to act like doing the recruiting early was bad) which will make TSUN's fall near NSD not as bad this season especially when comparing Ohio State and TSUN.

On another note...adding some weight and strength (and a nasty forearm with both arms) Gibson could be a Pryor clone, although one inch shorter, of course. Pryor, like Miller are and have always been criticized for their so called "weaknesses". Pryor's weaknesses put him on 3 Buckeye squads that totaled only 6 losses. Miller's weaknesses (minus his first year which was a program-wide disease that somehow was transmitted via NCAA brass with the help of ESPN's cameras, game breaking stories, and "breaking news reports" which were often false) seem to leave him as a 2 year QB with just 2 losses in those 2 years. Think about that....Erase year 2011 and you have a football program that has only 8 losses over their last 5 seasons. AND only a Buckeye hater would agree that 2011 instead of 2010 should have anything vacated unless it is just a coincidence that the Buckeyes have their worst season in a half-century following the NCAA and ESPN's attempt to totally ruin the school with the largest fan base in all of college football while letting a rape, some recruiting violations, and a redshirt freshman make millions off of his name while not doing any damage whatsoever to him or his school (I wonder why steps like those weren't taken in Ohio State's so-called "Tat-Gate" scandal as steps surely were taken at Miami and Texas A&M in their cases...maybe it has something to do with playing in the know, the south, where almost ALL MAJOR BOWL GAMES ARE PLAYED?).

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



FUqUespin's picture

Coach Meyer blends leadership with straight talk and hard looks to coach kids up and that is where mutual trust comes from.  Gibson will select Ohio State because people like him, kids like him, players like him, want to be around leaders who will develop them into all that is possible.  that's why he will select OSU.  Butch Jones at Tennessee is a good man, and he will get there.  That said, Tennessee and their program is still in development, and Gibson will look at both and in the end make the call that is best for him, and it will be Ohio State.

Drew2006's picture

If we can get Justin Hilliard we can get TG6! (NBD) 

Love thy neighbor as yourself-Jesus

+2 HS
ToetotheFace's picture

Butch Jones has a nice offensive system, but he doesn't have the explosive running production(or just pedigree overall) of Urban Meyer's spread offense that fits TG perfectly, TG would be expected to contribute immediately without much experienced talent around him, and he would be playing on a team that hasn't had success in its conference in a very long time. I think it is clear that choosing tOSU would be beneficial to his success and development.

SilverState's picture

Nice little combination of tweets: