Kareem Hooks Big Ten Offer

Johnstown, Pa., cornerback Gibson made the most of his camp appearance at Penn State last weekend.

Kareem Gibson was hoping to hear one word from James Franklin and his Penn State coaching staff by the time he left campus Sunday.

Of course, "offer" was not the only thing the Johnstown, Pa., Greater Johnstown corner absorbed from the Lions' staff by the time the day came to a close. Yet, it ranked among the most important.

The 5-foot-10, 167-pound three-star was one of two known prospects to pick up an offer following the program's first camp of the year. It's one that has been in the making since Franklin, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and much of the rest of the current PSU staff toiled at Vanderbilt.

"It was real good," Gibson said of the camp. "I had a real good time, and it was a great experience with all the coaches and interacting with one another."

Gibson was one of the top performers at the event, showcasing his speed with self-reported 40-yard dash times of 4.48 and 4.50 seconds. He also believes his 4.03 shuttle was the fastest timed inside Holuba Hall.

When not just running, the corner matched that speed with physicality to lockdown receivers in competition work. The total package caught Shoop's eye throughout the day, as well as Franklin's.

"We have a real good relationship," Gibson said of Shoop. "We've built that connection over the last couple years, and working with him was good.

"In the drills, I had a feel for him, like how you line up and stuff," he continued. "It was good; if I was to play there, I would know what he expects."

Shoops' evaluation later led to a chat with Franklin, which led to the offer.

"I was amazed and pleased. I am definitely blessed for getting that opportunity."

"I was amazed and pleased," Gibson said. "I am definitely blessed for getting that opportunity. Speaking with them would just mean a lot about how I did and how I felt.

"They said I had a great camp, and hearing those words from those guys meant a lot."

Gibson said he was not previously enamored with the Lions, but his grandfather has long been a fan of the program. The junior said he now sees why, citing the firsthand experience of being on campus and interacting with the new staff.

"When I first heard from Coach Franklin, I just knew he was a good dude," Gibson said. "I could see myself playing there because it's close and Penn State has history.

"It's just a nice place to be."

Six other programs have offered the junior, and he will camp at one of them, Pittsburgh, Friday before a potential stop at Arizona, which has not offered, in a few weeks.

A decision could soon follow, as the corner begins to near the end of his recruiting process. He added he is looking for not just great coaches, but also connections for life after college and football, too.

"I'm definitely going to make my decision before my senior season starts," Gibson said. "So, even within the next month or so, real soon; my biggest thing would be my top schools, to make sure they have something to offer after football."

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