Can Wide Receiver U sway Gibson?

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The month of January is a whirlwind of activity with college football recruiting. From players to coaches to fans, it's an exhausting set of weeks before the fax machines start humming on National Signing Day.

It's a process that can be stressful on the most coveted prospects, but for Shelton Gibson it has been a treat.

"It's been fun," Gibson told InsideTennessee. "As long as the coaches aren't pressuring me, it's been cool. I haven't had coaches pressuring me like, 'Sheton, you need to come here, you need to come here.' They tell me, 'Wherever you go, I want them to use you right.' So, it's all good."

The FOX Sports NEXT four-star wide receiver gave a verbal commitment to West Virginia on Wednesday. How the Mountaineers use wideout Tavon Austin excites Gibson.

"West Virginia really looks like they have the best offense for me now," Gibson said.

In spite of the pledge, other schools aren't slowing in their recruitment of the Cleveland Heights (Ohio) High standout. Kentucky, Ohio State and Tennessee badly want a set of skills like Gibson possesses in uniform.

Gibson confirmed to InsideTennessee that he is still taking his official visit to Knoxville this weekend in spite of his West Virginia pledge.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how the offensive coordinator is and if they throw the ball a lot and the school and academics and the coaching," Gibson said.

Tennessee's lead recruiter for Gibson is former Auburn assistant Tommy Thigpen. Prior to Thigpen's arrival, the Vols were not on the Ohio native's radar.

"I was real close with (Thigpen) when he was at Auburn. That was one of my top schools. Now that he's down there, I want to go see what Tennessee is like," Gibson said.

Tennessee coach Butch Jones also has some ties to Gibson and those close to him, including tight end and "big brother" Travis Kelce and wide receiver Jeremy Graves, both of whom played for Jones at Cincinnati.

The four-star is fresh off a week in San Antonio where he competed for the East team in the U.S. All-American Bowl. He said the safeties Tray Matthews and Dymonte Thomas stood out among the talent he battled.

Gibson is on a short list of elite pass catchers that Tennessee is pursuing down the stretch. Among those also being recruited hard are Marquez North, Jason Smith and Rob Wheelwright.

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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