Back in October, Cedar Hill WR Lovett Gibson verbally committed to the UTEP Miners. Word is now leaking out that Gibson is not only reconsidering his commitment to the Miners. Yesterday, Rivals.com's Brian Perroni tweeted that Gibson was starting to earn increased interest on the recruiting trail. Perroni noted that Big 12 and Pac 10 schools are starting to show heightened interest in Gibson.
Why all of a sudden? What did these schools know that we didn't?
Today, Perroni told us. Among other things, violence related to the ongoing drug war in Juarez may be a factor.
This news couldn't come at a worse time for UTEP coaches still reeling from the decommitment of two of the highest rated commitments in the 2011 class, linebacker Brandon Durant and athlete Jonovan Griffin. About a month ago, Durant (possibly the highest rated member of the class) announced that he would be attending Missouri. A week after that, Griffin (possibly the best athlete in the class) announced that he would be attending Oklahoma State. Gibson is one of only two members left in the class that are rated higher than a two-star prospect by Rivals.com. So, if Gibson does decommit, UTEP would have lost three of their four highest rated football commits in less than a month.
Hopefully, Miner fans can point Lovett to this article explaining that El Paso is the safest large city in the United States. Hopefully, the coaches are working their magic to keep the speedy wideout in Miner orange.
Gibson has not decommitted yet, he is merely wavering. It's not helping that Big 12/Pac 10 sharks are starting to circle him now that its widely known that his commitment isn't firm.
I have no doubt that opposing coaches can use the violence in Juarez against the Miner when recruiting against UTEP. It's up to our coaches to be sure to emphasize the safety of El Paso and make every step towards not letting those tactics work. It's essential for UTEP coaches to do everything they can to keep Gibson committed because if he does leave and lists Juarez as the reason why, it will only give opposing coaches more ammunition when poaching the gems of the 2011 class away from a UTEP staff already reeling from two swift losses.