May 24, 2010

Memphis lands local standout

Memphis (Tenn.) Mitchell running back Artaves Gibson has been a big name in the Memphis area since his sophomore year when he put up over 1,500 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns to lead a deep playoff run for his team. After a Monday evening decision, it looks as though Gibson will continue to be a name that the city will know well with a commitment to Memphis and coach Larry Porter.

"I committed a few minutes ago," Gibson said on Monday evening. "The opportunity to get some playing time my freshman year was there and Coach Porter's faith in me. He was recruiting me at LSU and he used to be a running back at Memphis and was the running back coach at LSU so I have confidence in him."

The location played no small roll in Gibson's decision as well. He is looking forward to representing his hometown program.

"It's the opportunity to stay in the city where there's family and people watching you play since you were little and people can come out and support you," he said. "If someone gets sick, you're right here. And just the fact that DeAngelo Williams came from Memphis proves that you can make it from Memphis."

With offers from some BCS level programs like LSU, Illinois and Kentucky, Gibson's decision came down to Memphis or Illinois - both boasting offenses that he could see himself thrive in. Though he does plan on taking visits in the fall, the allure of the hometown program was too much for Illinois and the others to overcome and Gibson felt that the timing was right.

"I know it's starting to heat up and a lot of schools are coming to see me but they aren't offering," he said. "They just want to see how I do the first few games after the knee injury but I wanted to get the decision out of the way and get that pressure off me. Now at the end of my senior year, I know I'll have somewhere to go."

Gibson only played five games in his junior year due to a knee injury and he sat out spring to continue to rehab and go through physical therapy. As the summer approaches though, Gibson is confident with his knee and ready to get back to work.

"It's probably about 70 percent right now but by the time July fifth comes when practice opens I'll be ready," he said. "I'm confident in myself and the people that have been working with me. Just the confidence I have is way better than last year."

Gibson also seems as confident in his college choice as he does in his ability.

"I feel like it was a great decision to make and I'm confident about it," he said. "I'm going to try to make the best out of it."


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