Take Reilly Gibbons off the board. This three-star offensive tackle just made his commitment to the University of Miami.
“Miami has the best education in the state of Florida,” said Gibbons at his announcement from his high school gym. "The staff is great and I feel like part of the family down there. I plan on majoring in business and then getting a law degree. It’s great to stay home and play there. That’s important to me and my family. Now they can come to practices and games.”
For Gibbons it was just the perfect fit both on and off the field.
“It’s been a long process,” Gibbons said. “It’s a great school with great academics. They have a great football program. It’s exactly what I am looking for. There was no compromise.”
Gibbons, 6-foot-6 and now 283-pounds, played tight end as a sophomore but made the move to offensive tackle at this time last year. It was a move he wasn’t so sure about at first. But for Gibbons it was ultimately an easy transition.
“After about two spring practices coach moved me to offensive tackle,” Gibbons. “I was already the biggest linemen we had. And as a tight end I was just a blocker. We had the best running back in the nation (Ryan Green) so I was always blocking anyway. The only real change for me was wearing No. 75.”
Baron head coach Steve Dudley will be the first to say that Gibbons earned everything he has garnered.
“It’s been a pleasure coaching Reilly,” Dudley said. “He has a great frame and physical make up. You combine that with his work ethic and you have a BCS caliber offensive tackle. We thought so highly of Reilly that we made him a captain as a junior. This is a kid that doesn’t need motivation. He does it on his own. He has his eye on the prize.”
Once the position moved happened offers started to pour in. Now he’s headed to Miami and to play for Al Golden and the ‘Canes. Gibbons is the fourth significant offensive line piece for the Hurricanes for their 2014 class. He joins five-star offensive tackle K.C. McDermott (Wellington, Fla./Palm Beach Central) four-star right tackle Trevor Darling (Miami, Fla./Central) and center Nick Linder (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas).
“It’s the best O-line class in the nation,” Gibbons said. “They like me at left tackle and think I have quick feet. They think I can get to 305 to 315 pounds.”
A year ago Gibbons was in the 245-pound. As he grew into his position so did his list of offers. Gibbons had an outstanding list of scholarship offers from such teams as FSU, Florida, USF, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Rutgers, Ohio State, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Nebraska, Duke, Clemson and many others.
Gibbons is currently ranked as the No. 37 offensive tackle in the nation. After a recent visit to Miami he knew where he wanted to attend college.
“I went down there and then went on vacation with my family,” Gibbons said. “While we were on vacation they sent like 65-70 pieces of handwritten mail. It was a little over the top but I loved it. I did some more research and knew that Miami was the place for me.”
It also helped Gibbons knowing who he would play for and the talent this school has put in the NFL.
“Art Kehoe [Miami offensive line coach] and Brennan Carroll both recruited me,” Gibbons said. “They are both great. Coach Kehoe is a great coach and he puts you in position to play in the NFL. I think they have like 14 current NFL linemen. I know I have the body type and work ethic to get there.
“It feels so great to get this over with. To know that now I only have to deal with one school and one staff. This feels great.”