Deciding on a college choice is tough enough without added headaches and misunderstandings. Geoff Gibson (6-4.5, 315) knows first hand.
"[Cal] had offered me March 3, but I didn't know," said Gibson. "They sent the offer to my old address. I kind of thought they were dogging me out, and they probably thought I was dogging them out because I hadn't contacted them much since [March 3] except for a couple of times."
Gibson wants to play for a good football program with solid academics. California was atop his list since camping in Berkeley last summer, and Notre Dame was a close second. Only Arizona and Arizona State had offered him as the spring evaluation approached. It didn't look like the Bears or Irish would be coming around as he expected.
With Bishop Gorman teammates Alex Turner and Evan Palelei committing to Stanford and Xavier Grimble holding major offers – he committed to USC on Thursday –, Gibson wanted to make his college decision before the start of the season even if his top schools had not offered yet.
"Recently, I had been contacting Cal [OL] Coach [Steve] Marshall back and forth a lot," said Gibson. "And I brought it up, coach are you planning to offer me because I was going to commit to Arizona. He was like ‘We already have you on file as an offer. You should've got the papers.'"
Arizona was Gibson's backup option. "I probably wasn't going to [commit] as soon as I did with Cal," he added.
"I knew I wanted to commit before I started my season. Cal was the one [offer] I was really waiting on. I haven't been to the [Wildcat] campus yet, but I have family there. I was going to commit not as soon, but I was happy when I found out about Cal [had offered]."
Gibson never received the official offer in hand. Nonetheless, after his enlightening conversation with Coach Marshall on Monday, he talked it over with his mom and decided that Cal was the right fit for him.
"It's a big weight off my shoulders," Gibson said about verbally committing to the Golden Bears. "I'm extremely happy with my choice. "Out of the schools that were recruiting me, [Cal] had the best of both worlds. They got a great football team. Not everybody can make it to the NFL – God forbid I get hurt – that's a great degree to walk away with. I've been to the facilities. It's beautiful out there. I love everything out there in Berkeley. I talk to my mom about it. She loves it out there. So, I decided to do it."
But as we've seen with some of the other early Cal verbal commits, Gibson plans to take some official visits. "I'm still going to take my visits but I'm pretty set on Cal," he said.
He says Cal and Notre Dame were the two offers he was expecting to receive this spring. He wanted to weigh both options, and he likely would not have committed to Cal in early March if the official offer had arrived as intended.
"I still would have taken some time because it was going to be between them," Gibson said of the Irish and Bears.
"I guess Notre Dame was suppose to offer me or they were going to offer me or they're still going to I don't know. "Those two is where I could see myself going – two good football schools with excellent education. It was going to be out of those two, when I found out Cal was the first to have offered me. I went with them. [Notre Dame] would be the only school that I would think about changing my commit to."
Besides the Irish and the Pac-10 Arizona schools, Washington, Oregon, and UNLV were also showing interest in Gibson. While Scout.com ranks him as the 17th best offensive guard in the nation, he mostly plays tackle. Furthermore, Cal and Coach Marshall are recruiting him to play tackle. "We haven't talked about witch side yet," Gibson added.
He will compete at the Stanford Nike Camp next month, and he wants to stop in Berkeley while in the Bay. "It depends on my ride," said Gibson. He is hitching a ride with his Gael teammates (Stanford commits) to the camp in Palo Alto.
Gibson reports a 2.8 core GPA. However, he will attend summer school in an effort to improve his grades in some tough classes he says he took as a freshman. After summer school, he says his core GPA should be at 3.2. He is scheduled to take the SAT in June.
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