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A total of 217 participated at the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour in Orlando on Saturday.
Unfortunately, St. Petersburg Catholic offensive lineman Reilly Gibbons was not one of them. Gibbons, who was scheduled to attend, tweaked his back throwing a 12-pound shot put at a track meet a couple of weeks ago.
His father, Shannon Gibbons, who is also the assistant track and field coach, explained that the injury was not serious and that he has been receiving treatment daily for it. However, he just did not feel that going to the camp feeling less than 100% made sense.
The elder Gibbons remains optimistic about his son's future.
"Reilly is, from what we understand, and what we see, exactly what a college would want in a lineman or a left tackle," Gibbons said. "He's left handed, and has great footwork. Basketball has helped his foot work, and he plays football on a different level. He's a special kid with a huge upside."
The 6-foot-6, 282-pound Gibbons is not just a star on the football field. He excels in the classroom as well and is currently carrying a 3.9 GPA.
He feels like those 'smarts' translate to the football field and he considers himself a 'student of the game.'
"I love going on hudl and scouting my opponent and then getting to exploit their weaknesses on the field," he added. "Although sometimes I may over think a situation, my 'smarts' allow me to know not only my assignment, but everyone's assignment, and I think that shows out on the field."
Although he loves football, he also realizes it is an avenue to bigger and better things in his life.
"I'm using the sport to gain opportunities that would otherwise be out of my reach," he said. "I'm a very smart person and when I grow up I would like to be an attorney like my mom. Unlike my mom, who does workers compensation, I would like to pursue a career possibly with the NFL or as a player representative."
Rivals.com considers the Class of 2014 prospect one of the top five offensive linemen in Florida. He consistently runs a sub five-second 40-yard dash and his power clean max is 255 pounds.
"As an offensive lineman I am constantly working on my strength and technique," he said. "My dad and I also believe that the days of the slow lineman are over, so I go to see my speed coach weekly and stretch frequently."
Gibbons currently has 36 Division 1 scholarship offers, including schools with a history of strong academics like Duke, Miami, and Florida.
"I have a lot of great options and I'm going to use this spring/summer to evaluate all of them further and hopefully make my decision before fall season," he said. "From the beginning of this process I've been looking for a great mixture of academics, as well as great football, and I am still looking for those qualities in a school."