Injury forces USF's Reilly Gibbons to give up football
Bulls redshirt freshman OL Reilly Gibbons, once expected to contend for one of the two vacant tackle jobs this spring, is no longer playing football due to a recurring right knee injury, Coach Willie Taggart said Monday.
A former four-star recruit from St. Petersburg Catholic, Gibbons will remain with the program in an undetermined capacity and stays on scholarship.
"He just keeps re-injuring it," Taggart said. "He wants to be able to walk around and play with his kids one day."
Gibbons' father, Shannon, declined to specify the knee injury Monday, saying it was a "privacy issue" with the family. He said his son, who intends to go to law school, is set to graduate from USF in 14 months with a political science degree.
A Stanford transfer, Gibbons enrolled at USF in January 2015 and was declared immediately eligible by the NCAA last June. He underwent a right-knee "procedure" in the '15 offseason and suited up for the first time in an early-October loss to Memphis, but never logged game action.
The '15 Bulls starting line -- LT Kofi Amichia, LG Thor Jozwiak, C Brynjar Gudmundsson, RG Dominique Threatt and RT Mak Djulbegovic -- eventually started every game.
"We'll be fine," said Taggart, who opens the Bulls' '16 spring camp a week from Wednesday. "Remember, we had to do this last year. We had to find some guys last year, and it worked out pretty good for us."
Taggart also confirmed three players recovering from '15 knee surgery -- DB Hassan Childs, WR Stanley Clerveaux and DT Marlon Gonzalez -- are expected to remain sidelined this spring. LB/DE Josh Black (foot) likely will miss the outset of spring drills but could return by the end, Taggart added.
Additionally, cornerbacks coach Alonzo Hampton now also will coach special teams, Taggart said. He replaces Raymond Woodie, promoted to defensive coordinator following Tom Allen's resignation in January. Defensive line coach Eric Mathies, meantime, is the new recruiting coordinator.
Dick Tomey, the former Arizona coach who spent last year serving as an administrative overseer of Bulls football, has completed his one-year contract and has moved back West to be closer to his family.