Copyright 2014 The Columbus Dispatch
All Rights Reserved
The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
Prized quarterback recruit Torrance Gibson came, saw, and he liked what he saw.
Gibson, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was one of the elite recruits on hand for Ohio State's Friday Night Lights at Ohio Stadium. And he even jumped into the drills, something he had indicated he wouldn't do during the four-hour session.
But it was his parting statement that made the most news, because a month ago he had Ohio State fifth in his rating system behind Tennessee, Auburn, Louisiana State and Oklahoma.
"I think Ohio State fans will be happy after this list I put out," Gibson said.
When asked for a hint, he said, "I don't want to release it, but I think Ohio State fans are going to be really happy."
Two other recruits made up their mind last night, though. Tight end Josh Moore, a cancer survivor from Olathe, Kan., didn't go through the workouts, but after a 10-minute session at midfield with coach Urban Meyer, he committed on the spot.
"I just loved everything about Ohio State," he texted later in explaining his decision.
Joining him was defensive lineman Joshua Alabi of Detroit.
"Officially committed to the University of Ohio State," Alabi tweeted.
Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class now stands at 14.
As for the evening, in front of 4,000 or so fans, it was the first major football activity under newly installed lights at Ohio Stadium. The ambience was impressive, said quarterback Danny Clark of Massillon, who in December became the first commitment to the 2017 class.
He was asked whether he spent much time talking with or recruiting Gibson, a fellow left-hander, during the session, but he said that talk really wasn't needed.
"You don't need anybody to tell you to come to Ohio State," Clark said. "When you attend something like this, under the lights in the Horseshoe, it's like no other place."
Offensive line prospect Drew Richmond of Memphis, Tenn., agreed. He did not take part in the drills but watched attentively. Upon leaving, he didn't want to talk much but did say "I was very impressed." He is considering Tennessee and Ohio State, among other schools.
Like Gibson, Richmond isn't ready to make an announcement, but it was clear that both enjoyed their time. The opinion of recruiting analysts, on Gibson especially, was if he made an unofficial visit to Ohio State this summer, as he did last night by driving from Florida, then the Buckeyes would be elevated on his list.
"I just had a ball," said Gibson, who added that he was especially taken with the way Meyer excitedly leaped up from a midday meal to welcome him to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
But it was the overall experience of being on campus for the first time that seemed to strike him the most.
"That's the kind of campus I like, a campus that's big ... and it's an awesome stadium -- they're building more space," Gibson said of the additional 2,500 stadium seats that will push the capacity over 105,000. "It's going to be crazy this year. I can't wait to come back."
Although he has said he plans to announce his choice on Oct. 20, Gibson said last night that he likely will make an official visit to Ohio State "maybe for the Michigan game."
That's five weeks after his announcement date, for what it's worth.
(1) Jenna Watson / Dispatch photos Former Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel, who won a national championship, talks with recruits. (2) Ohio State coach Urban Meyer introduces recruit Josh Moore, left, to current tight end Jeff Heuerman. (3) Right: High-school football players gather on the field at Ohio Stadium during the Friday Night Lights event. (4) Left: Quarterback Torrance Gibson of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shows off his arm during a passing drill as coach Urban Meyer watches. (5) High-school football players leave the field during the Friday Nigh Lights event in Ohio Stadium.