Ryan Gibson played for St. Stanislaus HS in Bay Saint Louis, Miss., at 260 pounds. He only kept going.
NU offensive line coach Adam Cushing will watch him play next Tuesday—with Gibson now at 275 pounds—and see how he moves with the "new weight."
We rarely talk about measurables, but here, they can make the difference between an offer and a no-thank-you.
Gibson needs no validation. The rising prospect holds 14 offers, including Cal, Cincinnati and Virginia. Still, Northwestern will consider him as its offensive line search moves forward.
"Northwestern would be an easy place to visit," said Gibson, whose dad lives in Chicago. "The academics and big-time football and location all play a factor."
This time of the year, NU coaches travel everywhere to evaluate prospects. Often, they look at younger players or projects. Other times, they seriously consider offers and let their evaluations speak.
Cushing's opinion could decide whether Gibson receives an offer from Northwestern. Though he has a buffer—and several other offers—it could be a pressure-filled situation. Still, Gibson said these hardly make him nervous.
"It's just about being me," Gibson said. "They usually stay for about an hour, and then I'll talk to them. Sometimes, they take me out of class or watch more individual drills."
Regardless of the outcome, Northwestern is clearly showing high interest in Gibson. If the offer comes through, NU has to make the best pitch, meeting Gibson's school requirements.
"I'm looking for world-renowned academics and the ‘wow' factor," he said. "I have to feel a fit at the school, and that the coaching staff can make me the best I can be."
He worked to gain weight. He'll fight for another offer.