LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — DeAngelo Gibbs. We all know the name and the thing that happens on Jan. 1 by now, right?
The Grayson High senior rates as the nation’s No. 3 safety for the Class of 2017. He’s already graduated and will enroll early in the SEC next month. He rates as DawgNation’s second most important undecided target for Georgia for this cycle.
The formal contenders: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
The contenders which received official visits: Alabama, Auburn and Georgia.
Gibbs will make his public decision on Jan. 1 at some point of the Under Armour All-American Game. He will just go with caps and put on the ones that will fit him the best.
He had a lot to say about his decision on Tuesday. That was the first day this week that the players in that game met with the media.
What did he say on Wednesday? I found one exchange he had with SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner to be especially interesting.
It started with a question about Alabama. He was asked if he already knew the major reason why he might wind up putting on that Alabama hat.
“I can go so in-depth with that,” Gibbs said. “There’s opportunity. The opportunity to get on the field. The opportunity to go to the next level. They open doors to opportunities at almost every level you want to be at. That’s pretty much it.”
That brought out the natural question about Georgia. The Bulldogs are perceived to be the other major contender for Gibbs. He’s taken far more unofficial visits to Athens than any other school he is considering.
“The same,” Gibbs said.
When asked to elaborate if there was anything different that would distinguish the pull to one of those schools compared to the other, the usually very articulate Gibbs chose to say very little.
“That’s why it is so hard for me to make a decision,” Gibbs said.
The widespread narrative that’s coming from analysts and reporters is that his decision is largely a tug-of-war between Alabama and Georgia.
What did he have to say about that?
“Stay tuned,” Gibbs said.
I’ll add one last thought here. The attention on Gibbs and his pending decision has reached the point where every little quote or story will be analyzed and probed for any glimmers or hints that convey where he is going.
I’d advise folks to not spend too much time on that. Gibbs is a savvy operator who understands the recruiting game and the work reporters are doing better than almost all his peers.
It is reckless to read into those types of things. But if Gibbs really feels he can’t distinguish any major differences between what might await him in Tuscaloosa and in Athens, then that seems like a major boost to Georgia’s chances.
Alabama is the standard bearer for the SEC and all of college football. Georgia would love to experience just three consecutive years of what the Crimson Tide has put together year after year dating back to the 2008 season.
— Quotes were obtained on-site by SEC Country staff writer Chris Kirschner