Following an in-home visit to Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian and running backs coach Tashard Choice, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy running back Jerrick Gibson affirmed his longtime commitment to the Longhorns on Monday.
The affirmation from Gibson provided public confirmation of what Gibson told On3 on Sunday — that he’s shutting down his recruitment and will sign with Texas during the early signing period after taking another visit to Austin this weekend.
The late-cycle work of Sarkisian and Choice, who was been a superb recruiter since Sarkisian hired him to replace Stan Drayton nearly two years ago, helped secure the wavering commitment of Gibson. The IMG product was on flip watch after making multiple trips from Bradenton to Gainesville to visit home-state Florida this fall, increasing fears that the loaded running back room on the Forty Acres might lead Gibson back to the town where he started his high school career in 2020.
The recent departure of Gators running back Trevor Etienne, who ran for nearly 1,600 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns in two years at Florida, both opened up early opportunities for Gibson and perhaps suggested some turmoil in head coach Billy Napier’s program, which went 5-7 and missed a bowl game in his second season after a 6-7 record last year.
Beyond the success for Texas on the field, the development of redshirt sophomore Jonathon Brooks, early playing time for the nation’s No. 1 2023 running back, CJ Baxter, and late chances to shine for sophomore Jaydon Blue, as well as sophomore Savion Red and freshman Tre Wisner at the end of blowouts, likely helped convince Gibson to follow through on his pledge despite the loading position room for the Longhorns.
The 5’10, 200-pounder committed to Texas in late June on an official visit to the Forty Acres over more than 20 other offers, including Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, and USC. Georgia, Miami, and Tennessee all hosted Gibson on official visits before he announced his decision.
A consensus four-star prospect, Gibson is ranked as the No. 68 player nationally and the No. 3 running back, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.