Everyone, meet Reilly Gibbons (yes, thats a link to his own personal webpage). He's a 4 star offensive tackle (both regular and composite rankings) out of St. Petersburg, Florida. He stats 6' 6" tall and weighs in at around 278 pounds. He claims just over 30 D1 offers, including Florida, Florida State, and Clemson. However, on Monday, April 8th, he chose Miami.
Reilly had suitors from all over the country. Some, like Bama and Notre Dame, didn't end up offering. The big name in-state schools, though, did, and Miami beat them out for this top talent. He visited Miami at least 6 times, including to watch the hoops team clinch the ACC over Clemson. He has also spent time at other schools as well, including FSU's junior day.
The talented tackle is Miami's fourth on the offensive line, joining Linder, Darling, and McDermott. If you haven't picked up on where Miami's focus is with this next recruiting class, you're blind. Golden is clearly working both lines, with the offensive line the early focus, and plenty of targets along the defensive side as well.
There are those that see Gibbons possibly playing tight end at the college level, but I just don't see that being the case. Gibbons is being recruited as an offensive lineman. Miami has depth at the tight end position, and likely will look to recruit a true tight end for the position rather than banking on a transitional player.
Check out what SB Nation recruiting analyst Bud Elliot had to say about Gibbons:
Gibbons time at tight end shows in his play at tackle. He shows good feed, and is able to mirror somewhat well in pass protection. In run blocking, he is able to quickly climb to the second level, take good angles, and adjust to quicker linebackers and defensive backs.
Of course, for a player in his first year at the position, there is still much to improve. It starts in the weight room. Gibbons needs to add 25 pounds to play offensive tackle in college. This will allow him to anchor against bull rushers in pass protection. And in the run game, he'll be able to take advantage of his ability to bend by bringing his legs and hips and driving defenders.
UPDATE: Check out what Gibbons had to say about his Miami choice, courtesy of Jamie Newburg from Scout.com:
He certainly doesn't sound like a kid who plans on shopping around anymore:
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.
"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.”
"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 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.”
You certainly have to like the fact that it's just barely April, and Miami already has 4 offensive line recruits, all of them towards the top of the rankings.
WELCOME TO THE U, REILLY!