After hosting five-star linebacker Dylan Moses last weekend, the Texas Longhorns will have another five-star prospect on campus this week, as Loganville (Ga.) Grayson cornerback Deangelo Gibbs will be in Austin. The 6'2, 204-pounder will also travel to see the Oklahoma Sooners while in the region.
In talking about elite prospects in the 2017 class, Gibbs is among the elite of the elite -- he's ranked as the No. 10 player nationally, the No. 2 cornerback, and the No. 1 player in Georgia, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. For Texas head coach Charlie Strong, Gibbs is probably the top cornerback nationally on his board, as the No. 1 cornerback in the Composite, California prospect Darnay Holmes, is listed at 5'10, much shorter than Strong prefers.
So getting to see how Strong uses other tall, long cornerbacks like sophomores Holton Hill and Davante Davis could help Gibbs envision himself at Texas if he gets to catch a practice while in town. If not, watching film of those current Longhorns would accomplish the same goal.
It's worth pointing out that while the Longhorns do have a cornerback pledge in the class from consensus three-star Lake Dallas product Kobe Boyce, there isn't really any elite talent in the state at the position, making out-of-state prospects like Gibbs even more crucial to the hopes of landing one of the top cornerbacks in the 2017 class.
More than 30 programs have already entered the national recruitment of Gibbs, including the usual suspects among the elite schools around the country -- Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and USC, among many others.
Right now, the Bulldogs and Volunteers are considered the leaders for his services:
However, there are several important factors to consider -- Gibbs plans on deciding on National Signing Day, hasn't been able to visit many schools outside of the region, and claims no leaders at this time. It's hard to say if he's being completely forthcoming on the latter assertion, but if he's taking the process that slowly, there's a good chance that he doesn't.
On the other hand, Gibbs has been to Tennessee numerous times since picking up his Texas offer last April, so his interest level in the Volunteers is clearly high.
So Texas almost certainly won't vault into a leadership position with Gibbs as it did with Moses last weekend (few prospects will ever admit to having a leader these days), but this is, as usual, about the long game and getting Gibbs to Austin now is extremely significant so that he can build a level of familiarity with the campus, coaches, and players. If the Longhorns can make a positive impression, as seems likely, then land a summer visit or an official visit before National Signing Day, then Strong and his staff may have a chance.
Start winning more this season and the odds could increase substantially.
This week will be the first step in that process, but it will be a big one.