The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their Buckeye careers today as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent. Signing Day is here.
Eleven Warriors would like to officially welcome Torrance Gibson to the Ohio State football program.
The Gibson File
- Class 2015
- Position ATH
- Size 6-4/205
- School American Heritage (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
- Composite ★★★★
- Rank 6 (ATH)
At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds and with the capability of running the 40-yard dash is less than 4.4 seconds, you'd have a tough time finding a more talented prospect in the country than Torrance Gibson. The Buckeyes knew that a long time ago and offered the southpaw in March...of 2013.
"It is amazing. I didn't ever think of getting offered from a school like Ohio State, so it's really a blessing," Gibson told 11W. "I called (Urban) Meyer and he offered when we spoke. He asked me what offers I currently have and I told him. He then said, 'Well you can add Ohio State to that list.' He told me he wanted me to come up to camp this summer. I also spoke to Coach Herman and he was just telling me he was excited about the offer and that he wants to get to know my parents and me better."
The Buckeyes were Gibson's third offer and the early involvement by Urban Meyer was indicative of how important the Ohio State head coach has always felt Gibson was to the Buckeyes. As the rest of the country's top programs started paying closer to attention to Gibson, the nation's 75th-ranked overall player, questions about what position he'd play in his future arose. With his blend of size and speed, Gibson possesses and ideal skill-set for a wide receiver today. Gibson wanted to be a quarterback.
"(So far) every coach that has offered me has said that they want me at quarterback," he said last January. "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."
Gibson's work-ethic had put him into the college football spotlight and with that spotlight came an almost overwhelming surge of attention and notoriety. All the hard work Gibson had put into his game was in danger of being wiped away by a borderline insufferable social media person that featured bloviated self-importance and a "look at me" attitude that turned off most of the schools pursuing him. Gibson was cognizant of the risks of his behavior, but told 11W he wasn't sure how he'd handle it.
"I know it's going to get worse," he said of the attention he was receiving. "It's a blessing of course, and I just want to thank the man upstairs for giving me the opportunity to play this game, I really don't know how I'm going to handle that you know?"
He handled it poorly and it almost cost him. His constant Twitter dancing and almost daily "updates" on what schools were rising, falling or standing still gave many the belief that he was too immature to handle his new-found fame. After a summer of visits that took him to LSU, Oklahoma, Auburn, and other schools on his list but not Ohio State, Gibson's interest in the Buckeyes — and vice versa — was in question; especially after the Buckeyes had accepted a commitment from Joe Burrow. In July, Gibson took part in Nike's The Opening and seemed to have an epiphany.
"I think Oregon helped him recognize that talent alone is not the answer," Mario Perez, an assistant American Heritage said of his quarterback. "There are plenty of talented kids out there. Hard work is the key. He committed himself to working harder after Oregon."
Part of that hard work involved a recommitment to the practice of being a quarterback. He decided to attend Friday Night Lights at Ohio State in late July and did so with the intention of working out in front of Urban Meyer and Tom Herman, something that a player of his magnitude didn't have to do, but wanted to.
That trip to Ohio State concluded on a high note, Gibson left campus proclaiming that the Buckeyes were his favorite and issued a de facto commitment. It was Gibson's chance at reconnecting with Meyer, who once surprised him with an early scholarship offer, that made the difference.
“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.
Gibson stopped the games, began publicly proclaiming the Buckeyes as his likely destination and became an active — but not committed — recruiter for the Buckeyes. In September, he made his official visit to Columbus and began counting down the days to a decision. On November 3rd, Gibson became Ohio State's 19th commitment.
Now committed, Gibson turned his focus completely to his senior year at American Heritage and after some early season bumps, helped lead the Patriots to their second straight state championship. He made sure that Ohio State fans all over the country knew where his heart was after finding the endzone in the title game.
Season complete, Gibson ruffled some feathers when it was announced prior to the US Army All-American game that was planning on making at least two official visits. After suggesting his recruitment had "changed" following a January trip to Auburn, Gibson shut down any communication with the media amid complaints that his words were being twisted around. Still, he made trips to LSU and Miami in order to make sure he was making the best choice for him.
The day before his visit to Miami, it was once again Urban Meyer who reached out to the heart of Gibson. Meyer and Zach Smith, Ohio State's primary recruiter in South Florida, made their in-home visit with Gibson and the enigmatic star reaffirmed to the Buckeyes that his heart was in Columbus. Today, he put his signature where his heart has been all along.