Photo: Jerrick Gibson; Credit: Brandon Carroll
A childhood dream turned into reality.
Gainesville native and 2024 running back Jerrick Gibson committed to the Florida Gators on Friday evening AllGators confirmed, with his dad announcing the monumental decision in a Facebook post.
"I did it," Gibson would say excitedly in an interview with AllGators Friday night.
Attending a camp period with Florida in June, Gibson would prove to be a diamond in the rough hailing from UFs backyard.
Extending Gibson his first and only offer to this point, the Gators took notice of the multi-faceted playmaker as he presented a rarely polished skillset for someone entering their sophomore year of high school.
Taking advantage of the opportunity at hand, the former Gainesville High School talent – transferring to Mundy Mills (Hampton, Ga.) for the upcoming season – would accomplish his goal of earning a Division-I offer from his dream school.
“I was very happy. I was jumping up and down, finna jump out the roof. It still feels unreal like I grew up watching this team, so it’s like a dream come true,” Gibson said in an interview with Sports Illustrated after his offer from Florida just a few weeks ago. "In my city, running backs don’t really even get looked at by Florida. So it just means a lot to me. When I was younger, all I knew was Florida. I grew up watching Florida 24/7. I have just always liked them. It’s a blessing.”
Taking time to soak in the offer, Gibson would return to Florida nearly a month later to yet again perform in a camp setting in a Friday Night Lights event he believed to be a success.
"I did my thing, once again. The competition was better; I can say that. One-on-ones, I started out iffy, but I picked up the pace. I had a few balls I caught over someone's head. It was like three times I did that, and afterward, I went to wide receiver and I was cooking them too," Gibson said.
Unexpectedly called to the head coach's office following his second impressive outing in front of the Florida staff, Gibson would enter the bosses headquarters star-struck. "I didn't even know I was going to be talking to coach Mullen. He called me in there, and I was so shocked. I was like, 'I'm really talking to Dan Mullen right now.' It was just unreal."
Getting the itch to commit during the conversation, Gibson would proclaim his intentions with his family present to become the first member of the Gators 2024 class. "He was talking to me about how he wanted me to go to their school and stuff. I was like, 'I'm here now, let's do it!' It was just quick."
First seeing Gibson's talents on display in Orlando for the Elite Underclassmen Camp, Sports Illustrated selected the 2024 talent out of the plethora of prospects as a top performer on SI All-American.
Showcasing his versatility as a pass-catcher – namely his advanced route-running prowess and shiftiness to make people miss – as one of his biggest strengths, Gibson presents the very trait the Gators have prided in running backs since the arrival of the new regime in 2018.
While considerable time remains before Gibson enters the collegiate ranks, there is an inevitable growth of his Division-I interest given the talents he possesses – something he has not yet thought about – the possibility that more offers on the table playing a role in his final decision when the time comes remains.
However, feelings toward the Gators stand stronger than ever as a prospect, despite his previous affections for the program as a fan.
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