DeAngelo Gibbs is just now entering his junior year of high school, but he’s already a college football recruiting target veteran.
The Scout five-star athlete from Peachtree Ridge (Ga.) High School has several collegiate gameday visits in his rear-view mirror.
Gibbs had a front-row seat to see Tennessee play Oklahoma in its home opener at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville with 102,455 in attendance. The Volunteers fell in double overtime 31-24.
“It was a great atmosphere even though they took the loss,” Gibbs told InsideTennessee. “They fought hard. They just let it slip out their hands. (Curt) Maggitt got hurt. They were going hard the whole game, they just weren’t executing and taking advantage of what they had. They missed a field goal. In my opinion, I think they should have went for that fourth-and-one.
“It was loud. During certain plays, it was probably the loudest stadium I’ve ever been in — 102,000. It was sold out and there were still people outside, so that was real cool.”
Having seen so many college environments, the Scout No. 4-rated prospect in the Class of 2017 can accurately stack a frenzied Big Orange Country up against some of the best.
“The whole game basically they were on their feet,” Gibbs said. “They were always cheering loud when players were pumping the crowd up. They got crazy. They were in it the whole game. What player doesn’t want that? The atmosphere was crazy.”
Shoulder to shoulder with Gibbs were other big-time Tennessee targets Mecole Hardman Jr. and Nigel Warrior.
“It was real cool. I got a chance to hang out with my boys, enjoy the game, taking advantage of our recruiting experience. So, it was real cool,” the 6-foot-2, 191-pounder said.
More time on Rocky Top meant more time with coach Butch Jones and defensive backs coach Willie Martinez.
"What player doesn’t want that? The atmosphere was crazy." — DeAngelo Gibbs
“I got a chance to talk to all the coaches before the game, after the game,” the five-star said. “It’s always been, ‘Need you here. Want you here.’ Win or lose or whenever I come up, it’s usually the same (message).”
The No. 2-ranked junior in the country has over 30 scholarship offers but doesn’t have Tennessee in a class by itself.
“Completely wide open. I don’t have any top 5, top 10 or anything,” said Gibbs, who also came to Knoxville for Orange Carpet Day in July, the Orange & White game in April, a junior day in March and the Missouri game last November.
Gibbs was in Tuscaloosa and saw Ole Miss upset Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Sept. 19. He told IT that he is considering coming back to Rocky Top for the Georgia game on Oct. 10.
On Friday, Gibbs caught a 26-yard touchdown pass in Peachtree Ridge's 35-7 win over Mountain View. He also returned a fumble to paydirt from 22 yards out. The Lions are now 3-2.