While it may look like just another run-of-the-mill off-season signing, the Edmonton Eskimo’s announcement that they’ve inked Torrance Gibson is anything but.
Gibson was a five-star recruit coming out of high school due to his off-the-charts athleticism: he was No. 16 on ESPN’s ranking of the top 300 players.
He committed to Ohio State but never saw the field and his college career devolved into a series of suspensions, strange decisions and general weirdness. Here’s a timeline of his stint at Ohio State, then some of the stuff that happened at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and here’s a general synopsis of the whole thing. Without a college program and just two years out of high school, he’s not eligible for the NFL Draft. So now he’s coming to the CFL.
His collegiate career path has led one Ohio State football writer to compare Gibson to another supremely talented player who struggled with the rigours of college life before finding success in the CFL: Saskatchewan Roughrider receiver Duron Carter.
Torrance Gibson's failure to remain eligible at Ohio State, and subsequently to catch on playing college football anywhere else, could be compared to that of Duron Carter. Carter has since gone to become a CFL All-Star wide receiver. Could Gibson do the same? He has the talent.
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 16, 2018
Like Gibson, Carter committed to Ohio State, played 12 games as a true freshman but academic issues kept him out of the Rose Bowl and ultimately led to his departure from the team. He played the next season at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas, transferred to Alabama (where he was declared academically ineligible) then transferred again to Floria Atlantic (where his petition to play was denied.)
Still, Carter has been a dynamic player in the CFL, where he’s been a two-time all-star including last season.
Could Gibson be another Carter in the making? The Eskimos are certainly hoping that, like Duron, he’ll take advantage of the on-field opportunities Canada has to offer.