Notes from Miami – Torrance Gibson

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Last week I was in Florida, while there I took a brief visit over to Miami to see my friend, Stanford Samuels. I’ve mentioned Stanford on here before. He is the former FSU cornerback that actually played his freshman year against Oklahoma in the 2000 national championship. He was kind enough to give us his thoughts on Juwan Dowels when the Sooners were recruiting him a couple months back.

Stanford coaches the Florida Fire which is one of the most talented 7-on-7 teams in the state. I stopped by to watch some of his players. I also stopped by to see the South Florida Express 7-on-7 team which is also very talent rich. I know one of the coaches there as well, so I had a chance to talk to both him and a few of the players. Among the players I saw at the South Florida Express practice was dual-threat QB and OU offer, Torrance Gibson.

I have a few notes that I want to make from my brief trip to Miami, but I’ll type those up in another post. I wanted this post to really serve as an introduction and a focus on Gibson.

Admittedly, I’m not a quarterbacks expert by any stretch of the imagination. When it comes to defensive player positions, I’d put my eyes against just about anyone and I don’t mean that to be arrogant (but why type about stuff you don’t actually think you know anything about?). But quarterback mechanics are not my area of expertise. That isn’t to say I can’t tell the difference between a guy who can play the position and one who can’t, but I know QB gurus and their knowledge of the details and nuances of that position far exceeds mine. Having said that, it is not hard to see that Torrance Gibson is the real freakin’ deal!

There are a few guys I trust in the Miami area to tell me about players down there, including Stanford Samuels. They are all very knowledgeable guys who will tell you the absolute truth as they see it and everyone of them believes in Gibson. It may seem strange that Gibson actually plays wide receiver for South Florida Express, but that isn’t a knock on his ability to throw the ball. Instead, it’s an attempt by the coaches to get the most athletes on the field and Gibson is truly a world class athlete. And if he wanted, he could be a devastating receiver. However, his ceiling at QB is off the charts.

Torrance is a long and lean athlete. I’d say he’s every bit of 6’3″ flat-footed, if not taller. He is built high cut and he’s thin right now, but he has broad shoulders and can clearly carry weight. He’s not a trained receiver because he is in fact a QB, but due to his size and athleticism alone he appeared unstoppable. I’m telling you, his speed in the open field is something to witness. It’s like watching a gazelle. He runs beautifully with very little wasted movement, on his fore and at a pace beyond just about everyone else. And you have to keep in mind he is not only doing this in one of the most athletically-rich areas of the country, but he is also doing it against some of the most talented and well-trained players in that area.

There is no question to me that Gibson is a QB. In fact if Gibson couldn’t run, he’d still be a great looking QB. He throws the deep ball about as well as any high school QB I’ve seen. The talk of Gibson being an “athlete” is non-nonsensical to me.

Is he an elite athlete? Yes. But does that change the fact that he also has the tools to be an elite throwing QB? No.

He has the gifts to do it all. And there are people in South Florida that believe he has every tool necessary to eventually play on Sunday’s. To me, what really separates Torrance is the pressure he can potentially put on a defense with his elite combination of talents. He’s faster and more agile than the “running QBs”, but he throws as well or better than your throwing “QBs.” How do you contend with that?

Now the question everyone wants to know is whether Oklahoma has a chance at landing him. My answer to that question is….it depends. Oklahoma has everything and more to offer Gibson, but the coaches have to believe that they are legitimately in the race. They aren’t generally in the habit of spending time chasing a kid who they don’t feel they have a legit chance with.

Oklahoma already has top notch facilities, with the best on-campus living quarters in the country, and a huge expansion forthcoming that we’ve heard will include a brand new weight training facility. Oklahoma, arguably, has the greatest football tradition in the country (came across this historical statistical summary yesterday that makes the case very well). Alabama may argue differently, but even in their prime they can’t seem to beat the Sooners. Additionally, with the athleticism of guys like current Oklahoma QB, Trevor Knight, the coaches have installed some of the read-option principles that perhaps could best showcase the totality of Gibson’s abilities.

Maybe the most important thing that Oklahoma has to offer is that they know how to produce THROWING quarterbacks, and it’s my sense that Gibson truly wants to be a throwing QB. Under coach Bob Stoops Oklahoma has two Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks and neither of them were even remotely as athletic as Gibson. If you take Oklahoma’s ability to develop throwing QBs, add Gibson’s natural mental and physical abilities, put him in Oklahoma’s scheme, and play him in a wide open offensive league like the Big 12 you are looking at a future Heisman Trophy winner. And someone who may break record after record.

My point is that Oklahoma has everything to sell Gibson. They just have to commit to doing it and believe that they can win his services. And based on conversations I’ve had with Gibson and people around him, I believe Gibson is very open to Oklahoma. I think Torrance is open to a number of schools because as of yet, he hasn’t seen many schools. It’s assumed that Ohio State leads in Gibson’s recruiting and I can’t speak for him, but I will say that if they do lead it’s probably because Urban Meyer wants Torrance and is willing to do whatever he can to get him. In short, I believe Ohio State is recruiting him harder than anyone else. I don’t believe Ohio State necessarily has more to sell than Oklahoma, and if you go strictly by throwing QB development results, Ohio State and Meyer may have less to sell. But they are aggressively pursuing Gibson and at this point that is making a difference, in my opinion.

The good news for Oklahoma is that Gibson wants to visit Norman and if a visit does indeed happen, then the Sooners may be able to firmly plant themselves within Gibson’s list of top schools. Gibson has said that he would like to take his time with recruiting and perhaps not commit until near signing day. This is another area where Oklahoma can make a great case for themselves because with their current QB talent, they have the luxury of going all in on Gibson even with the risk of missing out on him.

Truth be told, I’ve never been particularly interested in offense in general. And as such I rarely pay too much attention to Oklahoma’s QB recruitment. It’s always a given that Coach Heupel is going to find a great quarterback. But Gibson’s ability has caught even my attention.

In the end how a player develops and whether he reaches his potential is due to a combination of several things. The best an evaluator can do is project based on the now. And based on “the now”, Gibson is the QB you don’t hesitate on. You go all in and make your best case. Finding a great thrower is rare. Finding a great runner is rare. Finding a great leader is rare. Finding all three in one high school quarterback is…Torrance Gibson.

  • Sooner Ray

    I agree we should go all out on Gibson, nothing to lose. It may be the toughest recruit job in the country next year, obviously every elite program is gonna take a shot at this kid whether they need him or not. Hope our coaches can do and say the right things to get him to the Sooner state.

    • Super K

      I think most schools are going to pull themselves out of the recruitment because they either a) don’t believe they can get him or b) don’t have the luxury of waiting on the decision. So in the end my guess is it comes down to a few schools that have the stones to really decide to recruit him fully throughout the entire process.

      • Sooner Ray

        Ohio State has stones and seems to do a good job selling their program to elite recruits and of course the Fla. schools will think they have an edge. Seems it will be hard to sell an elite kid out of Fla. on coming to the 12 but you would think the same thing about Cali. and we’ve done some good things there.

      • Indy_sooner

        I think Coach Hype realizes he has a luxury of numbers which is why he has offered an unusually high number of QBs this year. How that translates to marketing to a specific player…I don’t know, but looking from the outside, it appears as though we have some more flexibility this year.

      • Jed

        You may just have nailed what Frank Zappa called, ‘the crux of the biscuit’. We’re set up pretty well for the next few years at QB with our current stable. Now is not the time to play it safe; you rarely have the opportunity to go all in and we’ve got it now. Were I Stoops, I’d soft sell it. Lay out the opportunities and see if the guy buys in.
        Oh, and it might be nice to see if Sammy and Josh might be in town when he visits. Maybe Billy Sims and AD as well. Ryan, you going to be busy that day? Not overstating things, you understand.
        Just sayin’

        • EasTex

          What ol’Frank saw as the crux of the biscuit was…the apostrophe.

    • J.K. Abbott

      I agree. This cat is a difference maker. Go all in on him and see what happens. If it doesn’t work go to plan B. OU has had tremendous success with plan B quarterbacks.

  • Zack

    Great stuff I was looking forward to these notes. Like Ray said go after him and see if you can get him. With the momentum from the sugar bowl I think there’s a chance but I question whether a top recruit wants to redshirt even though it’s probably the best thing for most any position.

  • SoonerPhins

    I think it will be difficult to pull him out of Florida/The South, but OU has just as much to offer, if not more, than any school down there. Will be a waiting game for sure.

    • J.K. Abbott

      Super K just posted Ohio State leads on him. Sounds like staying in the South or Florida isn’t a defining factor.

  • J.K. Abbott

    Like I posted yesterday OU has a lot to sell to any Q or RB in the nation based on past successes of that position excelling at OU. Look at the offer lists of the QB’s Heup has recruited during his rein as QB coach at OU. Not exactly chopped liver.

  • Tipman

    Love the site. Are we looking at QB Kevin Dillman (Denton, TX)? He was QB at La Mirada for OU WR Dallis Todd before transferring.

  • Atlantasooner

    I love his film.
    Kid could be elite at QB in the new Sooner system.
    I hope he makes it to Norman and both sides realize that it’s a great fit.

  • Zack

    It would have been nice to have landed dowels that may have helped us in recruiting Gibson. Plus dowels film looked every bit as good as Jackson.

  • Leroy Jenkins

    I’ve been looking forward to these notes, thanks Super K. His highlight film you posted is incredible, I hope OU goes all in also.

    What would be a good comparison for Gibson? Maybe Braxton Miller? (Not just because you mentioned tOSU going hard after him)

  • Steve Johns

    Running skill is obvious. As a passer he has very good footwork & release for a young guy. Has more zip on the ball than typical lefty and isn’t afraid to throw into a tight window. I hope Josh goes all in on this kid!

  • John Garner

    Wow! Really enjoyed that write up. I hope as you do that OU goes all in on Torrance. I understand he’s visiting this weekend? Maybe I read the article wrong.Whatever. A visit would really put us on his recruiting map.

  • EasTex

    Thanks for the video and insight, Super K.
    I agree with all you said about his abilities as a QB and without restating them, I was also impressed with his confidence and decisiveness that this video revealed.
    If ever there was a recruit that OU needs to go all in on, Gibson is that recruit.

  • Doobie74OU

    QUESTION FOR COMMENTS? How big of a catch 22 is it that because of our position at QB and having 3 young guys in the program that we a) have the ability to go all in on a recruit like this because it wouldn’t be a disaster if we missed on taking a QB this year and /or b) we seem very secure at QB for next few years so the recruits don’t see ability for early playing time? you thoughts please!

    • EasTex

      I don’t know about others, but when I see a recruit with the abilities like Gibson, you worry about the roster later. Three deep at QB, two with no game experience, is not a wealth of riches. A few years ago I saw a game where a team was on their 4th QB in the 3rd quarter due to injuries.

      • J.K. Abbott

        BOOM! Exactly ETexas.

      • Steve Johns

        Agreed. Anytime you can add quality depth at a position, you do it without hesitation. Every player should be pushed by those behind him.

    • Doobie74OU

      Thanks! I obviously know from OU’s position it would be great to have him. I hope we are all in and get him but, I’m talking more from the recruits perspective. I think questioning a kids competitiveness because he wants to go somewhere he can play is a bit crazy. K Thompson is transferring cause he is behind a young QB, J Coker is transferring from FSU to Alabama because of Winston and nobodies questioning there competitiveness, they just want a chance to play!

    • Sooner Ray

      We’ve got three in the rotation right now, If one gets injured and one decides he would rather play baseball, then we have one. I don’t think you can ever miss an opportunity to bring in better talent. If he gets here and wins the job, it just makes the team better.

  • blac1819

    Just a few thoughts from someone who played a little qb. He’s fast, but there was a few plays where he flat out had another gear to get to the edge. Hard to see throwing mechanics from the birds eye view. Good touch on his deep throws. Has the tools no doubt.
    What I’d like to see him do is attack the middle of the field more. Good qbs develop The ability to read lbs an safeties and can fit the ball into the tight windows. Hes a junior so he’s still obviously learninghow to read Ds.
    Would be nice if he was playing qb in 7v7 cuz its great experience to have to sit in the pocket, read your keys, and go thru your progressions. I believe that’s y so many TX qbs r having success n college bc of the year round 7v7s.
    withthe right system and coaching he could be a good one. Like most young studs he relies on his athleticism to buy time and looks for the home run shots to often. He needs to develop The short and medium pass game to sustain drives. Hope we get the kid.

    • JD

      Yeah my biggest critique of him would be similar to yours. Sometimes he waits too long to throw the ball, because he’s looking to make homerun plays. Part of that looks to be designed though. I noticed the OC sent receivers downfield often so as to open up the field for him to run if it came to that.
      This is the opposite of Trevor Knight, who I’ve always thought does a great job of making a quick decision and getting the ball out. It’s probably my favorite thing about TK.

      • J.K. Abbott

        Good observation JD about sending kids deep to open up the run game. Spread teams get man coverage, they will run four verticals and the QB run game is out the gate. In man when a wr runs vert the DB turns his back to the ball. In zone the DB keeps everything in front and can rally up on the run game more easily. Spread teams hurt man coverage by spreading the defense out and running off the DB’s. Especially if the defense is running two man. Or man under two deep zone.

        • JD

          Yes, I’ve become accustomed to seeing this strategy employed against OUr sooners

          • J.K. Abbott

            You are spot on. Coach Mike runs a ton of man coverage.

    • J.K. Abbott

      7 on 7 is Huge in Florida. Florida has 7 on 7 tourneys out the wazhoo. It’s like AAU in Florida. Those kids from Heritage get plenty of 7 on 7.

    • Rees Bear

      Didn’t see his line affording him a whole lot of opportunities to attack the middle with designed plays- most of what I saw was athletic ad-lib and it was awesome. Just imagining what he could do with some support.

  • bjwalker82

    Honestly, don’t think we have a chance with this kid. Would be nice though.

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    Why not? Someone call Coach Stoops, let’s go get this guy.

  • Mark hale

    He does throw the deep ball well. He has a long throwing motion but his arm has plenty of zip in it. He won’t get away with scrambling backwards in div 1. He loves running outside and that won’t be as easy in div 1 either. He reminds me of a tall Kendal Thompson with his scrambling and left handed throws. He also reminds me of Auburn’s QB with his zone reads. He takes the ball to the sidelines instead of off tackle runs and up the middle runs as a whole however. He’s a prospect for sure, but, as Stoops has stated many times, he has a to be a very good passing QB first and foremost,( to bcomee a Sooner QB). He’s a good risk IMO, because he can always play WR if QB doesn’t work out. He’s a super athlete!

  • JJsooner1

    This kid is the real deal.His throwing motion is a lil awkward, but correctable. His vision is just remarkable and nearly always finds a weak spot in the D. Supr K, you’ve got this nailed.

    Is it me or do he and his teammates look very well coached? Fundamentals are crucial and you can see that in how his team plays. Very impressive.