LOGANVILLE, Ga. — Nick Saban landed a helicopter on the game field at Grayson High on Thursday afternoon. That took place before and during at least one practice period.
“It was supposed to be a surprise,” DeAngelo Gibbs said. “But I kind of knew it was coming.”
Saban came into town to see Gibbs. The Crimson Tide were also planning an in-home visit with the 4-star safety on Thursday night.
Gibbs and his stout Grayson High team will face Roswell High at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in one of the most highly-anticipated GHSA state championship games in history.
It sets up for a hectic weekend for Gibbs. He had planned to take his last official visit to Georgia before the NCAA dead period on Saturday night.
When asked how he planned to juggle that, he shared an interesting reply.
“I don’t know how that’s going to work,” Gibbs said. “It is so last-minute. I don’t know how that is going to work.”
He brought up a likely 8 p.m. start, the game itself, the potential for a long game and then taking a bus back home and celebrating with what he hopes will be a joyous team.
“It is so all last minute,” Gibbs said.
The follow-up question had to be asked. Was he still going to take an official visit this weekend to Georgia after the state championship game?
“See, that’s the thing,” Gibbs said. “I guess potentially no. Just the fact we play the late game makes it hard. It can run over way past. It might start until close to 9 o’clock. I don’t want to really think about how that all could go.”
Could he just have that time with his teammates and then wait until Sunday morning and then embark on the official visit then? The NCAA dead period drops on Dec. 11. That would still give him a day at Georgia.
As he answered that, he shared a look that — combined with a shrug from both shoulders — that properly conveyed the point.
“It is just hard to say that,” Gibbs said. “Because I don’t want to say no right now and I end up at Georgia. I don’t want to say yes right now and then don’t go.”
He doesn’t know what he will do. The safest thing to say that is it is up in the air whether or not Gibbs will take his final official visit to Georgia after the state championship game.
“That’s fair to say,” Gibbs said.
Should DawgNation be worried about that?
“They shouldn’t be worried at all,” Gibbs said. “Georgia fans should know how much interest I have in Georgia. They know I have been there on a visit multiple times. Georgia fans shouldn’t worry about my decision just because I don’t have enough time now to come on my official visit.”
The top uncommitted prospect in the state of Georgia also said he’s now down to three schools, but declined to name which three.
That’s similar to what undecided 5-star RB Cam Akers said this week at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game practices.
Gibbs has only taken official visits to Alabama and Auburn. He’s also taken at least 15-20 unofficial visits this year alone to UGA.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder said he’s seen enough by now to make his decision.
But he still plans to make his commitment known at the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando on New Year’s Day.
About that helicopter on the Grayson 50-yard line
Those major plot threads with Gibbs were big enough to siphon some attention away from the other big event on Thursday: Saban’s helicopter.
“I was just sitting in the coach’s office when I first heard it,” Gibbs said. “But that wasn’t it. That went away. I thought I was just tripping. Then we heard another noise. It got loud out of nowhere and I couldn’t really see it. Then it came from the direction from over the school. Then we turned around and it landed and we were all like ‘This is amazing’ and we all thought it was something we would never forget.”
Gibbs said Saban gave him a lot of facts about the Tide: The tradition. The history of the players. The team’s track record. It was a thorough Saban presentation, he said.
Gibbs said all of the attention this week might be a distraction to some, but not to him.
“There is no balance to all of this,” Gibbs said. “As of right now, it is all focus on winning the ring. There is no balance with state and my decision. I won’t even think about any of the rest of this until after our team has accomplished our main goal of winning that ring. That’s it.”
Hunker down for DawgNation’s latest news. Download our app: http://dawgs.us/2ctFtTG
Follow Jeff Sentell on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.