Shelton Gibson to West Virginia: Mountaineers Land Top-Ranked Football Recruit

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 17, 2013

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Shelton Gibson, a 4-star recruit out of Cleveland, Ohio, generated plenty of interest during the recruiting process. Ultimately, the shifty wideout decided to sign with West Virginia, according to West Virginia Illustrated's Matt Allevato

The 5'10.25," 173-pound wide receiver from Cleveland Heights High School was courted by several big-time programs during the recruiting process, ranging from the the Big Ten to the Big 12 to the SEC. He made his first official visit to Ohio State in January 2012, then followed that up with visits to West Virginia and Kentucky in November and December, respectively.

247Sports ranks Gibson as the 27th-best receiver prospect in this year's class and the eighth-best player coming out of Ohio. He comes in at No. 182 in 247Sports' overall rankings.

An explosive athlete, he has the quickness to gain separation in a hurry and the top-end speed to be a vertical threat downfield. He's a very fluid player who practically glides in his movements, and he could make for a nice special teams player, as well. 

Beyond that, Gibson is crisp in his routes and he can stop defenders in their tracks with stop-and-go breaks. His change of direction is eye-opening and it has fooled many opposing defenders in high school. That's not to say his route-running is perfect, though. At times he has gotten by with simply his athleticism, burst and speed.

Gibson also has reliable hands with the ability to pluck balls from the sky, even if he has to twist his body to do so. 

The biggest area of improvement for Gibson is that he needs to add bulk. Right now, it's hard to envision him being a big-time red-zone threat given his slender build. Also, in press coverage, he could get jammed up in college. He's been able to make up for his lack of size in high school by simply blowing past defenders, but that will be more difficult to do at the next level.

Overall, this is a lightning-fast athlete who will be an instant downfield threat and special teams asset. Give him the ball in open spaces and watch him go to work.

But to be a complete receiver at the next level, Gibson must add strength.


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