WR Jayden Gibson (6-6 195) of Winter Garden, FL is highly coveted by USC head coach Shane Beamer and receivers coach Justin Stepp. They see Gibson as that big-body receiver along the lines of former USC great Alshon Jeffery. Monday Gibson arrived at USC with his father for a two-day unofficial visit. At the halfway point, it’s been all positive for Gibson and the Gamecocks.
“I love it here, I like it a lot,” Gibson said. “I see this as a place I could possibly be. Definitely see this as an offense I could thrive in. Definitely see myself having a great relationship with Coach Stepp and Coach Beam. Two great coaches, two cool guys to be around, genuine guys, and that’s big for me. I like that it’s a city feel but at the same time not. When you’re on campus you don’t feel like you’re in a big city, but then you can get that side of life too. There’s a lot of positives I didn’t know about here that I found out today. I’m glad I came because they definitely went up on my list a lot for sure.”
Stepp has been with Gibson step-for-step on the visit. And he has kept the big man on the move.
“I saw basically everything. Campus, facilities, stadium, academics. Anything you can think of, I saw there,” Gibson said. “Seeing the football players working out in the morning was cool. I got to do a real cool photo shoot. Everything is good. I’m glad I came up here. It definitely opened my eyes to the opportunities that are here. I definitely feel the love from the staff and the surrounding area.”
Stepp has been on Gibson since arriving at USC, and he has shared with Gibson his belief that they would be good for one another.
“He really likes me as a person with what I bring to the table with my character, how I operate and how I carry myself,” Gibson said. “On top of that, he thinks I’m a great player with a great upside and thinks I can be even greater, one of the best to ever come thru South Carolina. He thinks he can develop me to where I’ll be able to get everything I want out of the game of football.”
Gibson said he’s talked briefly with Beamer while on the visit, seeing him here and there. But part of his schedule on Tuesday will include a sit-down meeting with the head coach.
“I’m going to meet with a nutritionist, meet with Coach Beam, then I think I’ll just be with Coach Stepp,” Gibson said. “Probably watch some football. I know they are doing some workouts and stuff, so we’ll check that out and kind of just chill out.”
Gibson visited Florida last week. Wednesday he will be at Florida State, then he’s off to Miami for an official visit on Thursday. The next Thursday he will take an official visit to Baylor, and the Thursday after that he heads to Tennessee for an official. Gibson said Florida will also get an official visit, and he’s undecided on his fifth, which could go to the Gamecocks. He also plans to work in unofficial visits to Auburn and UCF.
Gibson, who had 32 catches for 775 yards and 9 touchdowns last season, said he’s looking at making his decision just before his season or a couple of weeks into it.