‘23 AL CB Rickey Gibson (Tennessee commit)

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After getting a scholarship offer from Tennessee a little more than a month earlier, Rickey Gibson visited the Vols earlier this month for the first time to attend their latest junior day. They impressed him enough to earn a spot among his early favorites.

The Class of 2023 cornerback from Hewitt-Trussville High School in Trussville, Ala., said Tennessee is one of a handful of schools standing out to him, along with Arkansas, Ole Miss and Georgia Tech, following his visit with the Vols on March 5. He said he’s “really liking Tennessee,” and he’s already planning to return there soon.

“I’ve got more visits coming up. But they’re top-tier, for sure,” said Gibson, who’s ranked the No. 66 cornerback in the 2023 class and the No. 37 junior from Alabama, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.

The 6-foot, 168-pound Gibson said “getting to play SEC ball” is one of the reasons he’s high on Tennessee. But his first look at the program nearly two weeks ago made a strong impression on him, and he’s scheduled to make the trip to Knoxville again the weekend of April 9 to attend the Vols’ spring scrimmage that will be part of their “All Vol Weekend.”

He said he made plans to visit Tennessee again next month because he’s interested in seeing the Vols in action on the practice field, “and their coaches invited me back out there, so why not?”

Tennessee coach Josh Heupel’s staff caught Gibson’s attention during his trip to Knoxville on March 5.

“The coaches seemed so, like — I don’t know. They were together,” Gibson said. “They bond good together. This is, what, their (second) year together? They’ve bonded together.”

In addition to spending time with the Vols’ coaches, he said attending Tennessee’s home basketball game against Arkansas — where he was able to get a firsthand look at the Vols’ fan base — was one of the highlights of the visit. He said Tennessee’s campus and facilities also “caught me off guard.”

“Their building, they’re building a weight room and adding some more stuff,” he said. “I like it.”

Tennessee defensive backs coach Willie Martinez, defensive analyst Levorn Harbin and Heupel were among the coaches who spent time with Gibson while he was on campus.

“Coach Martinez, he was talking about how he wanted to fall in love with the players’ mentality instead of their skill,” Gibson said. “He wants to fall in love with off-the-field stuff. Coach Heupel, he was talking about what’s around the town and how everything’s going with the players — what they’re building, what’s new, stuff like that.

“And Coach Chop, he was basically (saying) the same thing, telling us how nice the facility’s going to be, what they’re going to be like — stuff like that,” Gibson added, referring to Harbin.

Gibson said he’s hearing plenty from Tennessee, with Harbin in particular talking with him “almost every day.”

“He’s funny. He’s very funny,” Gibson said of Harbin. “He keeps it real.”

Martinez also has made a good impression on Gibson, and he said he likes Martinez’s track record of developing NFL defensive backs.
-Callahan
 
#10

jvols1999

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Teammate of Hunter Osborne. Taking OV here the 17th followed by Arkansas the 24th. Visited Arkansas once (in April) but has been here 3x since just March

Will attend camps today at UGA and Friday at AU. I'd expect him to get an offer from AU after the camp, harder to say about UGA.

Planning a decision before the season and of note is an EE. Right up there with Conyer and Jackson as a take at CB, IMO.
 
#11

BelieveTheHeup93

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Teammate of Hunter Osborne. Taking OV here the 17th followed by Arkansas the 24th. Visited Arkansas once (in April) but has been here 3x since just March

Will attend camps today at UGA and Friday at AU. I'd expect him to get an offer from AU after the camp, harder to say about UGA.

Planning a decision before the season and of note is an EE. Right up there with Conyer and Jackson as a take at CB, IMO.
Am I the only one that doesn’t get the hype around Conyer? He gets beat a lot in highlights and majority of his recoveries are due to the QB underthrowing his WR and the talent level in Kentucky is below average at best compared to the rest of the SEC states
 
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cncchris33

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#12
Am I the only one that doesn’t get the hype around Conyer? He gets beat a lot in highlights and majority of his recoveries are due to the QB underthrowing his WR and the talent level in Kentucky is below average at best compared to the rest of the SEC states
Most of the services agree with you, so far. I've not watched his highlights, but the ranking never added up to the hype of our fans.
 
#13

BelieveTheHeup93

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Most of the services agree with you, so far. I've not watched his highlights, but the ranking never added up to the hype of our fans.
I could maybe see him bulking up a little and playing a S/LB role in certain situations, but I don’t see how he could ever be a starting corner on an SEC team looking to play in Atlanta in December
 
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jvols1999

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Am I the only one that doesn’t get the hype around Conyer? He gets beat a lot in highlights and majority of his recoveries are due to the QB underthrowing his WR and the talent level in Kentucky is below average at best compared to the rest of the SEC states
Speaking only for myself, I'm not an analyst or scout, so I just work off of offers lists and apparent interest from our staff, as well as measurables that for each respective position seem to be strong indicators of athleticism and potential (e.g., track times, SPARQ type measurements, and length for a CB).

When it comes to Conyer, his offer list isn't particularly impressive outside of Tennessee. But he's also been pretty quiet, hasn't done a ton of Rivals type camps, and hasn't visited a ton of places. This is one where I as a fan feel like I just have to trust Martinez, plus the fact that he's very tall for a CB (6-1, 6-2) and apparently has long arms as well.
 
#16

BelieveTheHeup93

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Speaking only for myself, I'm not an analyst or scout, so I just work off of offers lists and apparent interest from our staff, as well as measurables that for each respective position seem to be strong indicators of athleticism and potential (e.g., track times, SPARQ type measurements, and length for a CB).

When it comes to Conyer, his offer list isn't particularly impressive outside of Tennessee. But he's also been pretty quiet, hasn't done a ton of Rivals type camps, and hasn't visited a ton of places. This is one where I as a fan feel like I just have to trust Martinez, plus the fact that he's very tall for a CB (6-1, 6-2) and apparently has long arms as well.
Justin Martin was 6’2 also. Not saying that’s what he’ll be, but I would personally rather have Ahmad Brown
 
#19

BelieveTheHeup93

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#19
And Cam Sutton had about the exact same build as Conyer and Gibson at that age. I can play this game too.
What does that have to do with anything? I’m simply saying just because a guy is 6’2 and projects at corner doesn’t mean he will be a good corner in college. Sutton also didn’t get burnt time after time in his highlights and get bailed out by poor QB play. He also played in Georgia compared to Kentucky
 
#20

BelieveTheHeup93

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#20
I like Brown too but nobody is recruiting him as a CB. He’s duplicative to Sly/Jack/Slaugther as a S/NB prospect.

Re: Martin, it wasn’t the physical tools that kept from him a very good career…
I think he makes a bigger impact at that position than Conyer will at corner. He struggles to cover highschool WRs In Kentucky. There’s no way he’s going to be able to play on an island in the SEC in my opinion
 
#21

jvols1999

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#21
I think he makes a bigger impact at that position than Conyer will at corner. He struggles to cover highschool WRs In Kentucky. There’s no way he’s going to be able to play on an island in the SEC in my opinion
Again I don’t have an opinion because I’m not a scout. All I can do is trust that both Martinez/UK’s DC and Secondary coach know what they’re doing.
 
#22

BelieveTheHeup93

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Again I don’t have an opinion because I’m not a scout. All I can do is trust that both Martinez/UK’s DC and Secondary coach know what they’re doing.
You don’t have to be a scout to have an opinion. I never played a down of college football, but I remember being able to realize back in 2009 that Art Evans couldn’t cover or tackle me or you
 
#24

jbr82

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Am I the only one that doesn’t get the hype around Conyer? He gets beat a lot in highlights and majority of his recoveries are due to the QB underthrowing his WR and the talent level in Kentucky is below average at best compared to the rest of the SEC states
He would fit right in with CWM unit imo
 

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