University of Miami coach Al Golden offered him a scholarship when he was in the eighth grade. Auburn and Tennessee courted him heavily as well, with the Tigers coaching staff comparing him to Cam Newton and Vols fans lobbying him heavily on social media earlier this year.
But since July 25, only one school has sat in the top spot for Torrance Gibson. And on Monday the Plantation American Heritage quarterback made his affection to that school into a declaration, announcing his commitment to attend and play football at The Ohio State University.
“I’m a Buckeye,” Gibson said after the announcement at American Heritage. “It’s a great fit for me. It was best for me and my family.”
Gibson, rated the nation’s No. 2 athlete by ESPN and No. 3 by 247Sports, knew he wanted to attend Ohio State since Oct. 20, the date he originally planned to announce his decision. However, he didn’t have an agreement with a major media company. Monday’s announcement was telecast live on FoxSportsFlorida.com.
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Gibson, who can make his choice official when he signs his National Letter of Intent on Feb. 4, 2015 during National Signing Day, becomes the 19th member of Ohio State’s 2015 football recruiting class.
“It’s been tough,” Gibson said. “I wanted to say it a long time ago.”
Gibson’s decision to pick Ohio State over LSU and Miami will put him under the guidance of Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, the first to instruct Newton in college and another Heisman winner in Tim Tebow when all three were at the University of Florida.
“[Meyer] knows what he’s doing with quarterbacks, and I can’t wait for him to do that for me,” Gibson said.
His decision, however, does not come as a surprise.
ENAMORED WITH BUCKEYES
A giddy Gibson always revealed how he truly felt about schools he visited during his stops at Auburn, Tennessee and Ohio State. But he could not wipe the smile off of his face during Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights event toward the end of July.
Gibson’s close friend and teammate Dredrick Snelson, a junior wide receiver committed to UM, jokingly referred to Gibson as an Ohio State commit on ESPN during Heritage’s preseason game against Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer on Aug. 24. And on Sept. 12 he tweeted that Gibson had committed to OSU, then later deleted the tweet.
Gibson’s official visit to the Ohio State campus Sept. 27 and conversations he has had with members of the Buckeyes coaching staff in the past month have helped seal his decision. Another factor in Gibson’s choice: Auburn and Tennessee already had two quarterbacks in their 2015 recruiting classes.
“I had to move on and pick the right school for me,” Gibson said.
Gibson will now try to hone his quarterback skills in Columbus, Ohio, despite many evaluators suggesting his 6-4, 200-pound frame and 4.4 40-yard-dash speed would be better suited at wide receiver.
Gibson said UM and LSU were both willing to help him improve his skills at quarterback, even though both schools run a pro-style offense. Gibson is currently thriving in Heritage’s spread offense.
TURNING DOWN CANES
On the hometown Hurricanes, Gibson said UM offensive coordinator James Coley wrote to him on Twitter “every day” saying, ‘We can do this with you. We can do that with you.’
“Him staying in contact means a lot.”
But Gibson had concerns about UM’s offense as a whole and playing behind quarterback Brad Kaaya, who is currently leading the Atlantic Coast Conference with 20 touchdowns as a true freshman.
“[Kaaya is] doing well,” Gibson said. “[UM runs a] pro-set offense. My style is really spread, attack, in the shotgun. I have no problem getting under center every once in a while. Standing under there is really uncomfortable.
“Ohio State’s system fits me way better.”
BOYS’ STATE GOLF
Finally, what the Plantation American Heritage High boys’ golf team has waited a year for has arrived.
The Patriots will tee off in the state high school Class 2A championship Tuesday morning in Howey-in-the-Hills hoping to put the disappointment of a year ago behind them. One year ago, after capturing the state title in 2012, Heritage went to the state tournament as a strong favorite but failed to win.
That loss has stuck with them all season, and nearly all of the competitors on the American Heritage team have returned to make last year’s failure disappear.
Once again, Heritage is the favorite going into the tournament, which will be held Tuesday and Wednesday on the Las Colinas course at the Mission Inn and Club.
“There is motivation from last year’s loss,” Heritage’s Ty Strafaci said.
Heritage heads to the state championship after winning the regional at Lago Mar by eight strokes with fellow Broward school Pine Crest in second place.
If Heritage does win, it will mark a sweep for the Patriots’ boys and girls. A week ago, the Heritage girls won the state championship on the same Las Colinas course.
BILL VAN SMITH
▪ Coral Gables 8, Miami High 0: Jade Mallea 3 goals, assist. Kayla Ferra 2 goals. Eduarda “Duda” Deziderio goal, assist. Kiayra Arnold goal. Natalie Viglucci goal. Brianna De La Osa assist. CG 3-0.
▪ Krop 5, Hialeah Gardens 1: KRO (3-0): Thalita Azevado 2 goals. Donella Massola 2 goals, 2 assists. Tiffany Schram goal, assist. Lexi Acosta assist.
▪ Lourdes 7, Miami Beach 0: Natalie Silberman 2 goals, 2 assists. Michelle Figarola 2 goals, assist. Sofia Portuondo 2 goals. Carly Cuadra goal. Niki Molina assist. Taylor Cosio assist. Fabi Velopokojski assist. Valerie Izquierdo assist. LOU 4-0-0.
▪ Riviera Prep 3, Archimedean 1: RP: Hannah Evans 2 goals. Amanda Rose Cabrera goal.
▪ Archbishop McCarthy 3, Coral Springs Charter 1: AM (4-0): Taylor Shore 2 goals, assist. Abby Ribas goal. Madison St. Philip assist. Aly Maranges assist.
▪ Coral Park 8, Braddock 1: CP (1-2-0): Michelle Mendez 4 goals. Nina Torres 2 goals. Maria Vega 2 goals.
▪ Ransom Everglades 2, Miami Country Day 0: Celine Ferrero goal. Hunter Matson goal. Sofia Petros assist.
▪ Ronald Reagan 2, Southwest 1: RR (1-0): Owen Green goal. Caio Ben goal.
▪ Gulliver 8, Archbishop Carroll 0: Adriano Castro 3 goals, 2 assist. Andy Alvarez 3 goals. Agusto Acosta 2 assists. GP 1-0.
▪ Somerset Academy 3, Westminster Christian 1: WC (0-1): Joey Alamo goal. James Barrios assist. Eli Medder assist.
▪ West Broward 1, Flanagan 1: WB (0-0-1): Bruno Cardoso goal.
▪ TERRA 2, Westland Hialeah 0: Gaston Lubczanski goal. Joseph Vega goal. Stephen Chang assist. Nicholas Shenck shutout. TER 1-0.
▪ Palmetto 1, Killian 0: Pablo Sanz-Seleme goal. Mathew Posada assist. PAL 1-0.
▪ Ferguson 1, Southridge 0: Rafa Gomez goal. FER1-0.
▪ Columbus 2, Miami Beach 0: Giovanni Borgeat 2 goals. Stephen Millian shutout. Andrew Fernandez assist.
▪ Douglas 2, Monarch 1: DOU (1-0-0): Felipe Mendes goal. Raheem Small goal. MON (0-1-0): Kevian Ferraz goal.
▪ MAST 4, Hialeah Educational 0: Santiago Morales 2 goals. Daniel Godoy 2 assists. Greg Fernandes goal. Jeremy Waxman goal.
▪ Pines Charter 4, Plantation 0: Charter (1-0): LJ Lemmers 2 goals. Jason Isaacs 3 assists.