Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss the recruitment of a 2018 running back target and a commit looking for others to join him.
Louisiana RB Jeremy Gibson has Arkansas firmly at the top
Running back Jeremy Gibson has Arkansas locked in as one of his top choices.
A 2018 recruit from Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.), Gibson recently told SEC Country the Razorbacks are “for sure” among his top choices along with Arizona State, Purdue, Tulane and Utah.
Gibson is 5-foot-10, 189 pounds and received an offer from Arkansas in mid-March. He holds 14 total from FBS schools, including Missouri and Texas Tech also. He is a 3-star recruit, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
“It’s the SEC and Arkansas was the first SEC school to offer me,” Gibson said. “I feel a good vibe with the coaches. I’ve been talking to them and I feel like they’re great coaches. I’ve already got a special relationship with them.”
Arkansas’ style of offense also gives the Razorbacks a “big advantage,” according to Gibson. He is intent on playing in a program that prioritizes the running game.
As for what he brings to the table, Gibson takes pride in his vision above all else. He considers himself a multi-dimensional back capable of running between the tackles or making defenders miss in the open field.
Arkansas wide receivers coach Michael Smith has been the primary contact for Gibson, as is the case with most Louisiana recruits. The Hogs have signed 13 natives of The Boot since 2014.
“You can relate to him, because he’s from down here,” Gibson said of Smith, who is from New Orleans. “Having a conversation with him, you can see he’s from here. I like that about him. You feel like you can always trust him. He said he would look out for me. The others from down here that have gone up there seem like they’re having a really good time, too.”
Gibson to visit soon, make decision this summer
Gibson has plans to visit Arkansas the weekend of June 2. He’ll likely make trips to other top schools later in the summer.
“I want to go to a school that can better me as a man, get an education and get me to the next level after college,” Gibson said. “The NFL is my goal. But I’d say most of all I want to become a man at the school I go to. I want to be around coaches that can help me become a better person, be more responsible, become a leader and be a father figure because I didn’t have that growing up.”
Following his summer visits, Gibson hopes to be settled on a final choice. He then intends to announce his commitment in August ahead of his senior season, putting an end to a process that has been both exciting and difficult.
“It’s a blessing to have all these colleges looking at me,” Gibson said. “They’re giving me a great chance to play football at the next level and achieve my goals one step at a time. But it is stressful thinking about all the good things a college can bring to you and you’ve got to pick out one of them in the end.”
Lofty goals for Gibson’s senior season
As a junior last season, Gibson rushed for 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns while helping lead Riverside Academy to Louisiana’s Division III state championship.
Though the season was impressive, Gibson accomplished one of three goals he set before it began. He’s now looking to achieve the two others as a senior.
“I want to get to 2,000 yards and over 25 touchdowns and another state championship,” Gibson said. “I set those goals last year and I got the state championship. But I’m trying to see all of those three before I end my career in high school.”
TE commit Luke Ford puts out call for next commitment
Commitment season is in full swing. Spring and summer are popular times for programs to secure commitments from recruits for the current cycle, helping mitigate recruiting demands during the season.
In the 2017 class, 18 of Arkansas’ 25 signees were committed before the season began — 16 of those pledges were announced between March and August.
So far in 2018, the Razorbacks have four commitments. They haven’t received one since cornerback Byron Hanspard II announced his pledge on March 15. Tight end Luke Ford committed to the Hogs a day earlier.
This doesn’t suggest the Hogs are behind in this recruiting cycle. They only have 12 scholarship seniors departing the roster after next season. They also still have two blueshirts from the 2017 class promised scholarships between now and the second semester of the 2017-18 school year.
But this does serve as a reminder for a couple things.
One being, as stated earlier, it is commitment season. Despite likely having a small class, expect Arkansas commitments to increase over the next couple months.
A second being Ford appears to be fully committed if he’s sending out such messages. That’s huge for the Razorbacks as Ford becomes an increasingly popular prospect. A 4-star prospect, Ford has seen Georgia, Iowa, LSU, Ohio State, Texas and others stop by his school during the current evaluation period. Those programs aren’t likely to pry him away from Arkansas.
— Ford #45 (@lukeredx97) May 23, 2017
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