Intro: Drew Gibson

Drew Gibson, linebacker from Northgate High School in Newnan, Ga., has played varsity football ever since the start of his freshman year. He moved to Georgia from Mississippi around the start of the 2009 season. He shined on special teams and was probably the most talented linebacker on the Northgate team, but a lack of familiarity with the coaching staff limited his playing time.

Drew Gibson has made a name for himself during the last months on the combine circuit. He was the top 2012 linebacker at the Speed Sports Performance Combine back in May, and the second best performer overall, just behind 2011 LB Marquiste Mason. He recently participated in the South Showcase Combine, and he believes he was the best linebacker in attendance.

"I felt like I had a really good performance at that combine," Drew Gibson said. "My 40 was a 4.65. And I ran the 40 after the football activities, so I was really happy about that time. My broad jump was a 9-3. My shuttle was a 4.4.

"One of the coaches there grabbed me and talked to me. He said he was really impressed with how I played in pass coverage. He said that for a big guy I move very well. He said I had great hips. And he was impressed that I never got beat in pass coverage.

"I feel like I was a top two linebacker there, probably even the best linebacker. I was bigger than most of the linebackers there. I was as quick, or quicker, than the smaller linebackers. From everything I saw I feel like I was the best in coverage of all the linebackers at the combine."

Gibson has participated in one team camp so far this summer. This ACC staff was impressed with his performance.

"I was at Duke's camp back in June," he said. "A few of the coaches complimented me on my form and my speed. They said I had really good speed and hips for 220 pounds. I did really well in pass coverage there. They had really good things to say about my pass coverage.

"Most of the guys at the camp were older than me. A few of the Duke coaches told me they were impressed that I was able to compete with much older players."

The Blue Devils are one of three programs on Gibson's wish list.

"My favorite schools are Duke, Alabama, and Vanderbilt," he commented. "Those are the three I like right now. Those schools are all about the same (interest level). My favorite two conferences are the ACC and the SEC."

Gibson is a 4.0 student. He has already scored a 28 on the ACT, and a 1910 (out of a possible 2400 points) on the PSAT. Academics will play a major role for Gibson when he ultimately makes his decision, and he is open to every college nationwide.

"I like Duke, Alabama, and Vanderbilt right now, but I'm willing to play anywhere," he said. "I just wanna play at the next level. Academics will play a big role for me as well. I'm open to every program in the nation."

The Mississippi native was a key contributor as a freshman on a team that went 10-0 during the regular season.

"I was one of two freshmen to letter on varsity as a freshman," he said. "I was on all the special teams. I was in the linebacker rotation on defense, and I played some at defensive end that year. We went 12-1, and we made it to the third round of the playoffs."

Gibson is also a standout on the hardwood, and he is aware of his ticket to the next level.

"I started for our basketball team last year," he said. "I played forward. I had several double-doubles (double digit points and rebounds) during the season. I'm pretty sure I averaged a double-double per game, or I was very close to averaging a double-double.

"I don't think I'm gonna play next year, though. I'm 6-0. That's good size for football, but not necessarily as a basketball forward or center. I'm just gonna concentrate on football from here on out. I have more passion for football, and I enjoy it more."

The new coaching staff at Northgate is looking to utilize Gibson's talents. He has big expectations for himself and his team this fall.

"I wanna have over 100 tackles next year," he said. "And I wanna win a lot of games. And ultimately I wanna help lead our team into the playoffs. We are all excited about the new coaching staff we have."

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