For the last ten months St. Petereburg Catholic’s Reilly Gibbons has been accumulating offers while making the transition from tight end to offensive tackle.
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound prospect decided to end the recruiting process Monday committing to the University of Miami, choosing the Hurricanes over Florida, Duke and Florida State.
Gibbons’ pledge gives Miami arguably the top offensive line class in the nation so far. Last week the Hurricanes received a verbal commitment from consensus five-star prospect Kc McDermott (Palm Beach Central) and also have commitments from Miami Central standout Trevor Darling and St. Thomas Aquinas lineman Nick Linder.
“I thought Miami was put on the map last week with Kc McDermott’s commitment and now with me joining the class I believe we are the best in the nation,” Gibbons said. “With the guys coming in and learning from a great coach like Art Kehoe, I think we are going to be a special group.”
Gibbons had been a regular visitor at Miami over the past year. He has been to the campus unofficially on at least a half dozen occasions including a game at Sun Life Stadium, Al Golden’s summer camp and a junior-day event.
“Every time I stepped on the campus I felt like it was the place that I belonged,” Gibbons added. “And as I did more research on the school academically I knew it was a perfect fit.”
Gibbons, an honor student, said Miami’s academics were the key factor in his decision. He said he plans on majoring in the business field and eventually going to law school.
“It’s the best education in the state and Miami is one of the best law schools around,” Gibbons explained. “I know I didn’t want to leave the state of Florida so this was the perfect situation.
“It’s very important for my friends and family to come watch my games and for me to be close to home.”
Gibbons says that the Miami coaches have projected him to be a left tackle — a major accomplishment for a player who has just started playing the position. But Gibbons said he is up for the challenge.
“I know I’m going to work as hard as possible in any situation because it’s important for me to reward those that have shown faith in me,” Gibbons said. “I appreciate all of the schools that were interested and I’m excited that I can now spend my senior year focused on strengthening my relationships with the players and coaches at Miami.”
Corey Long, formerly of ESPN Recruiting Nation, is a freelance writer based in St. Petersburg.
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