Kyle Gibson was one of the diehards, and he also was Vanderbilt’s top-rated remaining prospect–a solid four-star defensive back. He was one of the players willing to take a hard look at Vanderbilt instead of jumping ship immediately after his head coach left the program.
But after checking out other schools and giving the Commodores a chance, he decided to stay closer to his Tampa Bay area home. He committed to BCS-bowl winning UCF Tuesday night after having visits set up to both schools. He had offers from several big-time schools and had even taken an official visit to Michigan State in the fall, but being within an hour of home was a plus.
Before the craziness in the program, Gibson told Saturday Down South he loved coach James Franklin and Vanderbilt … “because everyone believes we can compete now and be successful in the SEC, on and off the field. Coach Franklin isn’t your ordinary head coach. He’s more approachable and motivating.” After Vanderbilt beat Florida, he said “that’s exactly why I wanted to go to Vanderbilt.”
When reached by SDS after Franklin’s departure, Gibson seemed stunned. “Good luck, coach” was all he wanted to offer up.
Vanderbilt is now back down to nine commitments just one week before national signing day. The Commodores have landed two new commitments since the coaching change, but have now lost their 13th player since Franklin left.