DeAngelo Gibbs knows a thing or two about Tennessee football, having been a spectator at games inside Neyland Stadium for years.
On Saturday, the Scout No. 1-rated athlete in the South’s 2017 class was again in Knoxville to see the No. 14-ranked Volunteers beat No. 19 Florida 38-28 to end an 11-game losing skid to the Gators.
“Oh man, this atmosphere was amazing,” Gibbs told InsideTennessee. “It was electrifying. Every time somebody did something great, it was just fantastic you know. I really enjoyed myself. So, I liked it a lot.
“It was a rivalry game and to see the fact that they beat them and it’s been so long, it shows something and Butch Jones is applying a great offense and defense and great team all around. Tennessee, at first, everybody was like, ‘Aw, man, who knows?’ But, after that run they made, everybody was on their feet. It was just electrifying. I just really loved it. I like it.
“I’ve been to some other big games but this is probably one of the biggest games I’ve probably been to.”
Tennessee rallied from 21 points down by scoring five touchdowns and a field goal with no answer from Florida.
“At first, everybody was like, ‘We’re losing and all, but it’s going to be a hard win,’” Gibbs said. “They fought back and they fought hard and you know, Go Vols!’”
The Volunteers ride a 10-game winning streak into Saturday’s matchup at Georgia and are 4-0 this year. The product on the field continues to impress the nephew of former Tennessee All-America Dale Carter.
“Yeah, it is (a factor in how Tennessee is playing),” Gibbs said. “They started off, they’re having a good run, they’re undefeated right now. That’s a big statement. That’s a big point that they’ve proven already. I just want them to keep building on top of what they’re doing.”
Tennessee freshman Nigel Warrior is a former Scout five-star prospect himself, is a cousin to Gibbs and the two played the 2015 season together at Peachtree Ridge (Ga.) High School.
“(Warrior) said he loves it (at Tennessee),” Gibbs said. “He said Tennessee is the place to be. He loves it. Every day they’re working hard and keep preparing him to get better.
http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1699206-the-ultim...“He’s got to get to know their system a little better. He loves it. He’s telling me, ‘Come up here.’ But, like I’ve said in every interview, if it’s not for me, it’s not for me. He understands that. He wants me to just keep coming up, showing me around and showing me a good time.”
Georgia brought in another cousin of Gibbs’ in former Tulsa defensive back J.R. Reed, which Gibbs said helps the Bulldogs’ chances of signing him: “Georgia having J.R. helps them a lot.” The two speak almost daily and have a brotherly relationship.
Some suggest that Georgia and first-year head coach Kirby Smart have taken the lead in the recruitment of the No. 12 prospect in the nation.
“They stand where everybody else stands,” Gibbs said. “I’m wide open. It’s hard to say where they stand right now. I’ve got much love for Tennessee, and they played a great game (against Florida).”
Gibbs said he will return to Knoxville but doesn’t know when. He admitted that he must narrow his list of schools and solidify his official visit dates soon. He plans to enroll in college in January after he takes part in the Under Armour All-America game, which may be where he makes his college decision known.
“That will be coming soon, very soon,” the five-star said of his visits.
No official visits have been scheduled or taken, but Gibbs said he will definitely take one to Souther California: “You can’t miss L.A.”