Potential top junior in the nation weighs in on UGA

Peachtree Ridge rising junior Deangelo Gibbs is the nation's top-rated cornerback for his signing class. (Michael Carvell / AJC)

Peachtree Ridge rising junior Deangelo Gibbs is the nation’s top-rated cornerback for his signing class. (Michael Carvell / AJC)

Peachtree Ridge rising junior cornerback DeAngelo Gibbs led his team to the finals of the Corky Kell 7-on-7 Classic by putting on a very good Randy Moss impression at receiver. The five-star recruit only came in at cornerback in select situations.

He’s rated the top player in Georgia for 2017 and also the nation’s top corner by the 247sports composite matrix. He’s the No. 6 player in the nation for that signing class and could eventually challenge a trio of offensive tackles, a defensive end and the well-known Dylan Moses (he had big-time SEC offers as an 8th-grader) for that honor.

Don’t believe it? The 6-foot-2, 189-pounder has impressive genes. His uncles Dale Carter and Jake Reed both played at least 12 seasons in the NFL. He’s so talented that he’s never had to run a 40-yard dash.

Georgia will be one of the schools in the thick of his decision.

“Coach Jeremy Pruitt is staying right on me,” Gibbs said. “Georgia is right in the middle of it. Pruitt is legit. (UGA assistant coach) Thomas Brown is also always staying on me because he’s the recruiter for my area. Their message is always ‘Get back on campus’ and ‘Get back on campus’ to me. I have been to Georgia a lot and they are trying to make it a family atmosphere for me.”

The Bulldogs will have a lot of company. Its not easy for him to answer the “leaders” question or detail the schools which are recruiting him the hardest.

“Its kind of hard,” Gibbs said. “All of them are on me hard. They are on my back hard. Its like I don’t know what else these schools could do to show how much they want to sign me.”

He considers himself far more than a cover corner.

“I’m an all-around corner,” Gibbs said. “My first play when you come to my side is to make sure you feel me. Not just my presence out there but the first time anyone comes over to my side they are literally going to feel this hit. They are going to remember who’s over there for the rest of the game.”

Gibbs hasn’t condensed his decision down to 20 schools yet. He’s looking everywhere. The schools he’s thinking about the most are the ones he hasn’t visited yet. Gibbs said the best college atmosphere he has seen live was at Alabama for the LSU game last fall. He enjoyed the thrilling conclusion to that game.

Gibbs is an impressive athlete for a prospect who won’t turn 17 until December. Baylor was the first school to offer him when he was in the eighth grade. He was about four inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter then.

“First offers mean a whole lot,” Gibbs said. “I went to Dallas out there with my uncle. I was just trying to get my name out there and had a very good camp. That school didn’t need to know who else had offered you to know that they wanted you. You always remember that one.”

He holds a 3.6 grade-point average, but has yet to take the ACT. He’s taking extra classes in the summer to give him the opportunity to enroll early.

“The thing most people might not know about me is my work ethic,” Gibbs said. “If I see somebody working harder than me or I see somebody older than me working hard who might be playing my spot even more exceptional than me, then it is on. I am going to pick my game up and do whatever it takes to be better than that guy. I’m not going to be able to live with that or say that guy is older or better than me. I’m trying to be better than every other player out there I’ve seen. If that guy is a great player, then I’m not going to stop until I am better than that guy.”


Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.


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