CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- As a sophomore last season, Grant Gibson was one of two players to start both ways for Mallard Creek, which claimed the NCHSAA 4AA Championship. Although North Carolina isn’t one of the five schools to have offered the 6-foot-1, 295-pound defensive tackle, his seemingly endless ties to the school will keep the Tar Heels on his mind.
“He’s an all-around great player,” Mallard Creek head coach Mike Palmieri said. “He plays both sides of the ball – he pretty much could play all the positions on the O-line. He’s a great kid, who also does well in the classroom.”
Gibson was “eight-quartered” during his freshman season (i.e. he primarily played junior varsity but saw limited snaps on varsity). This past season, his sophomore year, he not only became a fulltime varsity player, but he was one of two players to start both ways for a Mallard Creek team that won the state championship in the highest classification in N.C.
In 2014, Gibson primarily played guard on offense and tackle on defense. This coming season, though, he’ll see increase snaps at center, according to Palmieri.
Despite playing both ways for a football power, Gibson says he’s recruited strictly as a defensive tackle.
Colorado State, NC State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Virginia Tech have offered, while UNC has shown significant interest.
“I don’t remember what Coach [Gunter] Brewer said exactly, but [Gibson] will be an offer kid for them, I believe,” Palmieri said.
“I talk to Coach [Tray] Scott all the time, the new defensive line coach,” Gibson said. “And Coach Brewer came by my school a couple weeks ago, too. They just tell me to keep on trying to work hard. I feel like, if I go up to camp and perform well, I can get the offer.”
Besides UNC, Gibson plans to camp at UNC Clemson, Duke, and South Carolina.
An offer from UNC could be impactful to Gibson’s recruitment.
“My sister goes there, my mom went there, my uncle went there, my aunt went there – the school for my family is Carolina,” Gibson said. “It’s a great school up there. It’s nice up there, too. But I have to do what’s best for me.”
Unsurprisingly, Gibson grew up a UNC fan. As a recruit, he has visited Chapel Hill a handful of times.
Five schools are sticking out to Gibson early on – Clemson, NC State, UNC, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
“They’re all nice,” Gibson said. “They’re kind of close to home – it’s not too close and not too far either. The sports programs are good and their great schools for academics, as well.
In addition to each of his five favorites, Gibson has visited Florida State, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.
Gibson’s grandfather was the first black student to attend Clemson… Gibson plans to major in sports administration in college.
2017 Target: Grant Gibson
Inside Carolina Top Stories
Pinson Completes SurgeryThe junior wing broke his right foot during practice last Wednesday.
Inside CarolinaYesterday at 11:33 AM
Backcourt Criticism Fuels Berry, HeelsUNC contends its perimeter play will be a strength, not a weakness, in 2016-17.
Inside CarolinaYesterday at 11:14 AM
Bradley's Disruptive LengthThe freshman forward's wingspan is posing problems in the paint for his Tar Heel teammates.
Inside CarolinaYesterday at 9:58 AM
Running Back Recruiting ScoopBreaking down UNC's running back recruitment in light of Malik Davis's commitment to Florida.
Inside CarolinaYesterday at 6:57 AM