Henry County

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Former ELHS star Antonio Gibson commits to Memphis


Antonio Gibson recently made his Division I college football commitment sure when he chose Memphis over more than half a dozen D-1 programs. (Special Photo)




By Gabriel Stovall


DECATUR, Miss. — One of the more electrifying players in recent Southern Crescent history finally gets to live out his Division I college football dream.

Eagle’s Landing High graduate and East Central Community College athlete, Antonio Gibson took to Twitter Monday afternoon to make it known that he was officially committing to Memphis for the rest of his collegiate career.

Gibson chose Memphis over a glut of Division I programs, including Mississippi State, Syracuse, Kentucky, West Virginia and Colorado, among others. Gibson, a 6-foot-1, 213-pound athlete who’s played mostly wide receiver in high school and his first two years of college has regularly impressed with his wide array of offensive skill.

He showed big play ability during East Central’s 2017 football season, registering 29 catches for 563 receiving yards with nine touchdown grabs, while averaging almost 20 yards per catch. He finished his two year stint with 50 catches, 871 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Gibson said it was Memphis’ penchant for making the kind of plays he’s specialized in during his career that was a big part of his decision.

“They’re offense is kind of known for making the big plays, and that’s exciting because it hypes up the crowd,” Gibson said.

Beyond that though, Gibson said the brutal honesty of the coaching staff was most attractive to him.

“First of all, they don’t sugar coat much at all,” he said. “They pretty much tell you exactly what they plan on doing. They tell you the real pros and cons of the program. The things that are both good and bad. The coaching staff really treats you like family, and being honest is the first step.”

Gibson had been fairly highly recruited during his junior college stint. He was one of the most dynamic players in the Henry County area during his days at Eagle’s Landing where he literally played all over the field. But Gibson will be the first to let you know his regrets for not handling business in the classroom earlier in order to avoid having to go the JUCO route.

In fact, that’s the advice he says he wants to give any aspiring collegiate athlete.

“Do it early,” he said. “Take care of your grades and academics early so you don’t put yourself in a predicament where you have to take the long route to your goals. Go ahead and get that part out of the way so you don’t hold yourself back and make your journey longer.”

But now that he’s at the part of his journey he’s always dreamed of, Gibson says he’s chomping at the bit to make the most of it.

“I’m very excited, of course,” he said. “Like I said, being here for two years, I took the longer way to get there. But I can’t wait to play in front of that big old crowd, man. That’s going to be exciting.”

Gibson said Memphis coaches have told them that they’re looking for him to spend some time at both wide receiver and running back. Currently, Memphis (8-1, 5-1 in AAC play) boasts one of the most prolific offenses in college football. The Tigers are ranked in the top 20 in several categories nationally, including points per game and total offense.

And Gibson’s hoping these next two years will pave the way for another step up to another level of football — a career in the NFL.

“That’s the goal,” he said. “That’s always been the goal. And I think being there will help me. I think I’ll fit right in.”






About Gabriel Stovall

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