ORLANDO, Fla. — DeAngelo Gibbs made it to Florida for the Under Armour All-American Game this week.
He didn’t pack his bags with a decision already in mind. Gibbs told reporters that during the first media availability of the week. He will make the decision this week.
The nation’s No. 3 safety and second most vital target on Georgia’s remaining wish list for the Class of 2017 will speak to his family and mentors. He’ll also check in with the coaches of the five SEC schools that are in his final group.
He will squeeze in the time.
It will all ultimately come down to one thing.
“(It will be) pretty much based off the opportunity I have to play,” Gibbs said. “That’s what I will be making my decision off of.”
The formal list comes down to Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Tennesee.
It is an All-SEC decision for a likely future All-SEC player at multiple positions. Gibbs ranks as the nation’s No. 3 safety and No. 41 overall prospect for the Class of 2017.
Look at what Georgia lined up this year in the secondary. The program simply doesn’t have a lot of guys like Gibbs on the roster. He could be an instant starter for the Bulldogs given that he will enroll early.
Yet Alabama has also told Gibbs he could also come right in and play even in a mix with all those safeties who were elite recruits in their day, too. The Tide only has one safety in its top-rated recruiting class up to this point.
That’s 4-star Daniel Wright. Wright rates as the nation’s No. 15 prospect at safety for 2017. The other major talking point for Gibbs with Alabama is that the Crimson Tide did not sign a single safety in its top-rated class from a year ago.
Gibbs told DawgNation after his Grayson team won the Georgia Class 7A state championship that the Tide has indicated that playing time at safety next fall is also right there for the taking in Tuscaloosa.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound prospect also shared the following nuggets regarding his decision:
- He has yet to tell any team that he’s coming. He said he may share the news with them on Dec. 31. “I kind of want to keep it secretive all the way up to the 31st,” Gibbs said. “It is a leverage game to me. I feel like if I go ahead and make that announcement to them then they might get relaxed in their recruiting.”
- At the end of the day, it will be his decision. One parent might say School A and another might say School B, but he will only take that under advisement. “They’ll have some inputs and I’ll get some opinions on what they think and what they have to say. But at the end of the day, it is my choice. It is where I have got to spend my three-to-four years.”
- Gibbs said that Alabama was on him “hard.” He said that the Tide has been and will be in contact with him every single day from this day on.
He said he’s literally gotten phone calls from four different coaches back-to-back-to-back at one point of late.
- 5-star LB Dylan Moses recruits him hard to join the Class of 2017 at Alabama. His words have been countered for Georgia by 5-star safety Richard LeCounte III. If Gibbs were to choose Georgia, that would give Kirby Smart the No. 2 and No. 3 safety prospects in the nation for 2017.
- He had an interesting description of how he felt when he took his first official visit this fall. That one was to Alabama for the Texas A&M game. “I felt more than comfortable,” Gibbs said. “I felt like I could already be in their system. I felt like I could already be there.”
- Why was that? Gibbs noted a team-first mindset. He didn’t notice any selfishness. Everyone had their minds set on the same team goals.
- How thorough has Kirby Smart been in recruiting everyone in his life? Gibbs shared just how detailed the Georgia recruiting approach has been. “He’s gotten in contact with (my) pastor and the teachers that I like,” Gibbs said. “He’s gotten into contact with everybody he thought I had a relationship with. He got into contact with a lot of people.”
- That sounds polished, but it was really just par for the course. Gibbs said that Alabama coach Nick Saban and Florida’s Jim McElwain made similar efforts. He also said Auburn coach Gus Malzhan — along with Saban and Smart — all went to see his father Deon Gibbs at work. His father sells cars for a living. Separately of course. Not at the same time. That would be really awkward.
- What else can he learn to help shape his decision this week? Gibbs said he would eventually just feel it in his heart and reach a decision.
— Quotes were obtained on-site by SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner