Josh Gibbs: a lot of show UK fans

It's not hard for Josh Gibbs to explain why he went from a relatively unknown high school player to a premier junior college safety the last two years at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif.

It's not hard for Josh Gibbs to explain why he went from a relatively unknown high school player to a premier junior college safety the last two years at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif.

"In high school I didn't go to a good high school with good coaches my senior year. They didn't let me showcase my talent, played me at defensive end and messed up my recruiting," said Gibbs, who was a safety and quarterback at Redondo Beach High School before moving to Valencia High School for his senior season."

"That is why I went the junior college route. The coach there recognized my talent, told me to play safety and I did. I am still learning and getting better, but I am just glad to be here to make that happen."

He had 45 tackles, three interceptions and one fumble recovery in 10 games his freshman year and last year had 27 tackles and three more interceptions.

His parents were in the United States Army and he was born in Germany and lived there about a year. He also lived in Georgia, where his father is from, before going to California with his mother when his parents divorced.

"I am closest to my mom. I grew up with her and she raised me. My dad did what he could be 3,000 miles away, and did a great job. I went down every summer to see my dad and did as much visitation as I could, but my mom is the one who raised me," he said. Question: What's going through your mind now that spring practice has started? Gibbs: "My mindset is to be ready be on the field, weight room and class room. The most important part right now is the class room and what I do on the field.

Question: Did you come to Kentucky hoping to play and/or start immediately? Gibbs: "I am not trying to get ahead of myself. Right now the most important part is just learning the playbook and become a starter and leader of this team. I have been in the film room with coach Thurm (Chris Thurmond) and I am with (safety) Winston (Guy) all the time. We have classes together, so we go over the playbook then. I am just learning and when I get in I just have to make plays."

Question: How are you doing on learning the playbook? Gibbs: "Right now we are not doing too much. They are keeping in simple with a couple of adjustments to motion. I am the kind of guy that learns better doing it myself. Repetition works best for me. Being on the film running plays against the offense helps me learn a lot more."

Question: What made you decide Kentucky was the best place for you? Gibbs: "My brother, Darlon Spead, played for Vanderbilt (from 2006-2008) and when I was talking to him about my recruiting process, I mentioned New Mexico State, Syracuse, UCLA and places like that, but once Kentucky came on the map he called me and we had a long discussion about the SEC. This is the conference to play. I met all the coaches and I like what they are trying to do with the program. It is real similar to my junior college with discipline and stuff like that."

Question: How do you describe yourself as a player? Gibbs: "I would say I like to come down and hit. I love to come down and play the run. I also like to cover. I don't want to sound like I am gassing myself. Me personally, I don't like to get out of coverage or be out of position. That is always in my head. I just like to come and hit. They have me at strong safety, covering the tight end, reading the run. That's me. I am going to showcase my talent in the spring game and in games in the future."


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