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Gibbs commits to Kentucky

Valencia grad, COC safety will be playing in Southeastern Conference

Posted: September 29, 2009 10:03 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.
College of the Canyons safety Josh Gibbs led the Cougars with four interceptions in 2008. College of the Canyons safety Josh Gibbs led the Cougars with four interceptions in 2008.
College of the Canyons safety Josh Gibbs led the Cougars with four interceptions in 2008.
It's evident that Josh Gibbs looks back on his high school football experience with a little bit of regret.

But he moved on, got better and now the College of the Canyons safety will be playing in a conference many consider to be the class of college football.

The Valencia High graduate and COC sophomore football player accepted a scholarship earlier this month from the University of Kentucky of the Southeastern Conference.

"Like I told all the radio stations in Kentucky, there's no other place I'd rather be," Gibbs said. "I'm excited to go out there and showcase my talent."

Gibbs, who played defensive end his senior season at Valencia, is going to an area that is extremely serious about its college sports.

Shortly after he accepted the scholarship, Gibbs was phoned by a couple of Kentucky radio stations that ran him through a gauntlet of questions.

They asked about his academics, his size, if he visited the campus and what position he wanted to play - free safety or strong safety.

As a senior at Valencia, he was inserted at defensive end, despite being just 5-foot-10-inches and 185 pounds.

"It definitely hurt me with schools and recruiting," Gibbs said.

Upon his arrival at COC, he was switched to the secondary where he developed into one of the school's top players as a freshman in 2008.

He intercepted a team-high four passes, forced a fumble and made 53 tackles.

Gibbs, now 5-foot-11-inches and 200 pounds, has made 13 tackles through four games in 2009.

He said there was interest from other schools, such as UCLA, Syracuse, Kentucky, Nevada and New Mexico.

Gibbs said he is thankful for the opportunity he got at COC.

Cougars head coach Garett Tujague said his program recruited Gibbs pretty hard not knowing where he would play. Yet Tujague said he coveted Gibbs' athleticism. The player proved himself quickly.

"In three weeks he came in and beat out a kid who started 12 games the year prior and did a great job," Tujague said. "It is tough to beat him. The competitiveness is unreal. It doesn't matter what it is. You're never going to catch him out of position. It goes back to his intelligence for the game."


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