Josh Heupel knew even before the season Tennessee football would need secondary help, so he went out and stacked his 2023 class with defensive backs. One of those DBs is Rickey Gibson. Here are five things to know about the Alabama prospect.
Where Gibson ranks
Gibson is a four-star prospect across the board. He measures out at 6-foot and 171-pounds.
247Sports puts Gibson as the No. 52 cornerback in his class, and the No. 22 prospect from Alabama.
ON3 ranks Gibson as the No. 19 cornerback and the No. 15 prospect out of Alabama.
Rivals holds Gibson as the No. 49 cornerback and the No. 23 prospect from Alabama.
The decision to choose Tennessee football
Gibson had his fair share of choices, including the defending National Champions.
Tennessee football extended Gibson a scholarship offer in February. After taking an official visit in June, Gibson verbally committed to the Vols in August.
Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs campaigned hard for Gibson’s talents, but he ultimately chose Rocky Top over other finalists Georgia and Penn State. He held over 30 offers.
When Gibson committed to Tennessee football, many thought of him as one of the most underrated prospects in his class.
The corner had a solid senior season for Hewitt-Trussville High School in Trussville, Ala., finishing the year with 40 tackles, 13 pass breakups, and four picks.
One of his interceptions came in a big spot against Alabama powerhouse Hoover High School.
Gibson was invited to the Alabama vs. Mississippi all-star game thanks to his dominant season.
What does coach say?
No one knows their players better than the head coach, and Gibson’s coach had high praise.
“Rickey is one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached,” Hewitt-Trussville head coach Josh Floyd told AL.com. “He’s 6-feet, 175, runs a 4.4, and has a 41-plus-inch vertical. He’s a great cover corner who has great ball skills. He works hard and is always trying to perfect his craft. His teammates like him and enjoy playing with him.”
Why Tennessee football?
Tim Banks and the defensive staff had their work cut out for them to beat Georgia on the recruiting trail. Ultimately, Tennessee’s belief in Gibson led to them landing the four-star prospect. “It is because they got on me early and believed in me,” Gibson told SI. “They didn’t have me come to camp for them or do anything like that. They knew what their vision was for me, and they have just been on me since day one. I love their honesty with me.”
Note: This is part of a series of articles looking at prospects who make up the Vols’ 2023 recruiting class leading up to the early signing period.