If only the dazzling 4.36 time in the 40 meters Plantation American Heritage coach Mike Rumph claims Torrance Gibson uses to break off long runs in the Patriots read option could help the 6-4 junior Gibson elude the great athlete playing quarterback stereotype.
Lost in Gibson’s game-changing speed, highlighted by his 201-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance against Lely in the regional quarterfinals, is the 16-1 touchdown to interception ratio and off-the-charts 134 quarterback rating he will bring into the Region 3-5A final against Wauchula Hardee (11-1) on Friday.
“All in all I’m a quarterback,” said the ESPN four-star recruit Gibson. “I look at this like a great opportunity. Playing quarterback is a privelage and an honor. Once I was named the quarterback in the spring, I wasn’t going to let that go. I told coach Rumph, I will take you to states and get you your first state championship.”
While Gibson’s stellar play at safety last season fueled talk of him playing defensive back or wide receiver in college, Gibson said he is adamant about sticking to quarterback, a position he dreamed about playing in high school, college and the NFL.
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Since taking over as starting quarterback Gibson has helped steer the high-powered Max Preps No. 5 Patriots (12-1) to eleven consecutive victories and close to 42 points a game.
The lone setback came to USA Today Super 25 No. 3 Miami Central in the second game of the season. A 12th victory in a row would send the Patriots to the 5A state semifinals on Dec. 6 against Merritt Island or Lake Wales.
While slowing Heritage’s All-American running back Sony Michel — a Georgia signee — will be the No. 1 priority for Hardee, the Wildcats should not overlook Gibson’s weapons in the passing game led by Isaiah McKenzie (642 receiving yards, six TDs), Brandon Johnson (307 receiving yards, five TDs) and Dallas Perez (three TDs).
Hardee has won 10 games in a row thanks to its defense, which has limited opponents to seven points or fewer in eight games and 7.5 points per game overall. James Green, a 6-4, 200 pound defensive lineman, leads the Wildcats in total tackles (69) and tackles for losses (14).
Should Hardee commit to stacking the line against Michel, Rumph said Gibson will be ready to take advantage of passing opportunities as he did against Cardinal Gibbons.
The Chiefs dared Gibson to beat them passing and Gibson responded by completing 10 of 17 passes for 317 yards, including two touchdowns, as the Patriots rolled 71-24.
“When people hear about Heritage they think Sony Michel,” Rumph said. “They put the whole defense inside the box and try to stop Sony. Torrance has become such a passing threat. His arm can pick a team apart.”
Gibson has rushed for 778 yards on a 10.51 average with eight touchdowns, highlighted by his 201 yards on just 11 carries against Lely.
Gibson’s emergence as one of the nation’s top dual threats has led to a flood of offers from Alabama, LSU, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, among others.
By time it comes to choose among those NCAA football blue bloods, Gibson said he will continue to make believers out of those who doubt his ability to win games throwing the football.
“A lot of coaches don’t pay as much attention to my throwing because they see my speed running the football,” Gibson said. “Once I turn the corner its goodbye, but I can sit back in the pocket and throw the ball. I can hurt them with my arm, too.”