American Heritage High School (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) Quarterback Torrance Gibson is one of the highest rated prospects in the 2015 recruiting class. Standing 6'4" and 195lbs, Gibson also possesses blazing speed (21.7 seconds in the 200 meter dash) which makes him nearly unstoppable as a dual threat QB in high school.
WHERE IS GIBSON BEST SUITED TO PLAY IN COLLEGE?
Gibson is regarded as a five star prospect by all of the major recruiting publications. The question remains if he will stay at QB or potentially switch to WR once he arrives at the college of his choice. Some recruiting pundits note that he is still very raw at QB and his skills may be better suited to WR if he wishes to be become a "next-level" player who sees action on Sundays. He has much work to do to be considered an elite QB, but then again so do so many high school seniors.
Regardless of those assessments, Gibson will no doubt be afforded every opportunity to make his mark at QB. If he can find an offense to fit his skill set and work with a good offensive mind, there's no limit to his potential.
Take a look a SB Nation's recruiting guru Bud Elliott's take on Gibson:
Torrance Gibson (American Heritage Class of 2015 - 5 Star Athlete) Junior Highlights (via Phenom Mixtapes)
Early on, the leaders for his services are those very offenses that would be ideal for a dual threat QB, and those schools are Ohio State, Auburn and Clemson.
Miami and Florida also appear to be the two in-state schools that round out his top five, but his bevy of offers also includes many big time programs from all over the country, Gibson will write his own ticket. Here are a list of other premier programs who are in the hunt for Gibson's services:
Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Nebraska, Penn St and Wisconsin.
SO YOU'RE TELLING ME THERE'S A CHANCE?!
The Hokies may not be buried under that list as far as you might think. The Tech coaches cleverly offered Gibson on January 28th, just a few days before his former teammate and Georgia Bulldog commit Isaiah "Joystick" McKenzie made an official visit to Blacksburg the last weekend in January.
The Hokies were considered the favorite to land McKenzie late in the recruiting process but ultimately decided to take his talents to Athens, Georgia. It may not make a big enough impact in the end, but it should give him some pause when it comes to considering Tech, especially since highly touted teammate gave VT a serious look.
Dumb and Dumber- So you're telling me there's a chance (via FullMovieJacket)
The feeling around the recruiting community is that he currently favors Urban Meyer and Ohio State. Gibson eerily reminds me of former Buckeye's QB Terrelle Pryor in size and overall athletic ability, except Gibson is a southpaw. They both aren't considered "polished" QB's and Pryor is still working on honing his craft, struggling to find playing time in the NFL.
I have no doubt Pryor could have been a pretty good WR in the NFL with his size, speed and fantastic ball skills. Perhaps Gibson will figure this out before his collegiate career is over. On the flip side, I understand the need to have the ball in your best players hands on every play as it lends to a greater chance of big plays, especially in the college game.
It's a double edged sword for players who have the size and ability that Gibson possesses. I hate to see guys who fall into the "square peg in round hole" category, and by the time the NFL combine rolls around it's too short of a time period to convert to another position and be effective. This is especially more difficult when you've been playing QB since your early high school days. Hokie fans saw plenty of this with Logan Thomas, who many feel could have been (and potentially still could) be an excellent TE. I never like to see wasted ability, especially when it could have turned out differently for many of these types of players.
WOULD HE FIT IN LOEFFLER’S OFFENSE AS A DUAL THREAT?
Gibson would certainly work in Offensive Coordinator Scott Loeffler's offense, as current Tech back up QB Brenden Motley and incoming QB recruits Chris Durkin and Travon McMillian fit the mold of rollout passers with some mobility. To an extent, Hokie QB's Mark Leal, and Andew Ford have some mobility, albeit nothing close to the aforementioned group. And although Michael Brewer can get himself out of trouble, his feet will not be the featured part of his individual arsenal.
The point here is that Loeffler will make the talent work, no matter how it is packaged. Which is refreshing because it indicates that he thinks he can win without needing a cookie-cutter quarterback who has to be perfect for his system. Each of the group above has his own strengths and weaknesses, and there isn't really a duplicate in the bunch.
There's no doubt that Hokie fans have an affinity for the mobile QB's. But there have also been a few high school QB's that have had success at other positions once they've arrived at Tech. Marcus Davis comes to mind (whether you love his "blocking" or not) as he was a QB at Ocean Lakes High School before switching to WR. He used his physical stature 6'4", 220lbs and exceptional leaping ability to take advantage of smaller DB's. Davis, despite his detractors used all of his God given size to nearly become the Hokies' first 1,000 yard receiver. He fell just short with 953 yards in 2012. There is a fall back for Gibson if QB ultimately doesn't work out.
I'm impressed that the Tech coaches are "going for the gusto" in offering many of the elite players in the nation. I think they, and more importantly Coach Beamer, realize that his coaching window is quickly closing and needs to get some of these game-breaking players if he want a chance to make it to back another National Championship game.
Despite the number of QB's currently and soon to be on the roster this fall, I feel that more than ever the coaches aren't looking at the depth chart as much as who can potentially lead this program back to the top. I also like how we are parlaying these offers with previous prospects and commits (see Isaiah Ford with potential stud CB Kevin Toliver) and (Isaiah McKenzie with Gibson) into present-day offers. It indicates that we are attempting to establish a foothold in the game, and most times you can't get what you want if you don't ask first.
This strategy ultimately may not yield the bountiful results Tech fans are looking for, but at least the Hokies are attempting to confront their rivals in the recruiting game, as opposed to merely settling for the lowest hanging fruit. Anything can happen in ten months!
Editor's Note: #EVERYDAYSHOULDBESIGNINGDAY