MU Recruit David Gibson Killed In Accident

David Gibson, 19, a recruit for Marshall University football from Florida A&M High School near Tallahassee, Florida was killed in an automobile accident near Atlanta, Ga., Rattlers head football coach Ira Reynolds said Sunday morning. A second passenger, former FAMU High football player Chris Ayers, was not seriously injured and was returning to Tallahassee today, according to Reynolds.

Gibson was driving to Huntington from his home to begin classes on Monday at Marshall. Gibson originally was scheduled to join Marshall's football team in 2005, but he returned to FAMU last semester to earn required credits for graduation in a rare extra semester of high school eligibility. In addition to Marshall, the 6-foot, 185 pound cornerback was recruited by North Carolina of the ACC, Oklahoma State and Iowa State of the Big XII and an additional Conference USA school in East Carolina.

Marshall University's first-year football coach Mark Snyder received word of Gibson's death early Sunday morning, according Huntington's newspaper, The Herald-Dispatch. "It's very numbing," Snyder said. "I'm numb. David was starting the second phase of his life to become a young man and it just shows how fragile life is. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I'm a bit speechless."

Snyder said he and/or offensive line coach Mike Cummings, who recruited Gibson, would attend the funeral. "He made a commitment to be a part of our family," Snyder said. "We will be there."

According to a report on-line from The Tallahassee Democrat, friends of Gibson and former teammates Travis Simmons and Antwan Young didn't want to believe the news about their good friend being killed late Saturday night.

Simmons and Young were out with friends late Saturday night when word spread about Gibson's death. The senior trio played a large role in FAMU High's season that ended in the playoffs against Class A state runner-up Graceville. Gibson and Simmons were the Rattlers' starting cornerbacks this season, while Young was FAMU High's starting quarterback. Simmons and Young each talked with Gibson on Friday.

"Gib was really excited. He was ready to go to college," Simmons said Sunday afternoon. "He's one of the coolest players I ever met -- he didn't have a bad attitude towards anyone. He was like a big brother to me, on and off the field. Everyone is shocked. It's a big loss."

An emotional Young considered Gibson his best friend. "He was a role model in so many people's eyes," Young said Sunday afternoon. "It's a great loss. You can never imagine something like this happening. I still can't believe it."

Reynolds said details of the accident were sketchy. Reynolds spent early Sunday morning with Gibson's family in Tallahassee. "It hit me right in the pit of the stomach when I received the telephone call," Reynolds said. "We don't know exactly what caused the accident or what happened. ... .David was one of those players who we said had the talent to make it to the big level. It's horrible, a big, big blow. This is a reality check for all of us who are still here, that you have to make the most of each day and treat people as well as you can."

Gibson was nicknamed "Pro" by teammates because of his athletic ability, Reynolds said. Gibson's season was cut short late in the year when he suffered a broken leg against Rickards. Simmons said he also was being recruited to play football Marshall and was looking forward to possibly being reunited with Gibson on the collegiate level. "We would talk about it," Simmons said. "I just can't believe it." Funeral arrangements are not certain at this time.

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