Published Friday, January 25, 2013
By CHRIS GOLTERMANN
For the second straight year, a high school football standout from Coweta County will be among Air Force’s list of recruits on National Signing Day.
Trinity Christian senior Drew Gibson, who graduated in December, will continue a growing list of local athletes that have moved on to play athletics at the academy.
Gibson, one of two GISA All-State selections last fall for the Lions and a participant in the postseason All-Star game, committed to the school during a visit Tuesday night from Air Force Offensive Coordinator and associate head coach Clay Hendrix, who hopes to use the 6-1, 237-pounder at fullback.
Gibson started at both fullback and linebacker at Trinity last fall after sitting out the entire 2011 season while recovering from a bout with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a nervous system disorder that left him temporarily paralyzed. He went through an extensive rehabilitation process after losing 40 pounds.
After returning to the field, Gibson helped lead the Lions to their first state playoff berth since beginning play in the GISA as an 11-man program. He finished with 82 tackles to go with 12 sacks and two fumble recoveries while also forcing three safeties.
At fullback he averaged 8.1 yards per carry and posted a four-touchdown game during a victory against Dominion Christian on Sept. 14.
Gibson played on both sides of the ball during this year’s GISA All-Star Game and was a lead blocker for Heritage School running back Candler Rich (108 yards, 13 carries) while also gaining 24 yards on five attempts. Rich recently committed to Yale.
Both will be among at least six Division I signees from Coweta on Feb. 6. They also include Tray Matthews (Newnan, UGA), DeAndre Johnson (Northgate, UGA), Brandon Facyson (Northgate, Virginia Tech) and Sean Spencer (Northgate, Navy). East Coweta running back Dee Godfrey has verbally committed to Georgia Southern and made an official visit to Statesboro last weekend.
Gibson also played in the NUC All-American Game in Myrtle Beach. Other schools that offered scholarships included Cornell and The Citadel. He also received several offers as a preferred walk-on at Division I programs.
According to Gibson’s father, Wesley, Drew’s test scores will allow him to begin practicing immediately at Air Force, which requires most freshmen to attend prep school.
Last year’s Falcons roster included only six freshmen.
Gibson will join Alex Lakes (Northgate) and Lendall Arnold (Newnan) in the Air Force program.
Lakes helped lead Northgate to a Region 3-AAAA championship in 2011 while rushing for 1,270 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior. Arnold quarterbacked Newnan to state playoff berths in 2010 and 2011 before initially signing with Lenoir-Rhyne.
He transfered to the academy and played wide receiver on last year’s prep team.
• SMITH RECEIVES VISIT FROM GEORGIA TECH
A representative from Georgia Tech was on campus at East Coweta on Thursday to talk to Indians senior kicker/punter Spencer Smith.
Smith is coming off a strong effort for the Central All-Stars at the David L. Scott Coalition Bowl in December, where he kicked a field goal, had two 50-plus yard punts and multiple touchbacks on kickoffs.
East Carolina and Georgia Southern have also spoken with Smith this month.
He was named to the All-Region 3-AAAAAA First Team as a punter and earned All-County honors after averaging over 36-yards per punt. Smith was also named Special Teams Player of the Year at East Coweta’s annual postseason banquet on Sunday.