Jesuit ace Daniel Gibson commits to University of Florida
Jesuit left-hander Daniel Gibson, one of the area's top rising senior pitchers, has committed to the University of Florida.
Gibson was heavily recruited by a dozen Division I schools, but ulitimately chose the Gators over Notre Dame.
"I knew that both schools were great schools academically and athletically, so what it really came down to was location and the weather," Gibson said. "It's not too far away from home but the far enough. And when I thought about where I'd want to play, I enjoy pitching in this kind of weather."
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Gibson, a Times Hillsborough County first-team selection this spring, was 9-2 with a 2.08 ERA for the Tigers, who spents some of the second half of the season as the consensus No. 1 ranked team in the nation. He started the season 7-0, finished with 67 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .244 batting average.
Gibson said he visited UF on the way to pitching in the World Wood Bat Association Wood Bat Tournament in Marietta, Ga. -- he is pitching for the All-American Prospects this summer -- and also on the way home. The Gators attended all of his summer games, he said.
"A lot of places wanted him," Jesuit coach Richie Warren said. "His recruiting was similar to a lot of the other arms who have come out of here. He had just played his best in that tournament. He was throwing in the low-90s."
Gibson said UF was always at the top of his list, and his last visits to Gainesville only confirmed he wanted to be a Gator.
"I felt comfortable there," Gibson said. "They were at a couple of my games during the high school season. They came on kind of late, but when they did they game on strong. They showed me and my family that they were really interested."
Gibson will join fellow Hillsborough County standout pitchers Tommy Toledo (Alonso) and Alex Panteliodis (Alonso), as well as former Plant first baseman Preston Tucker -- a consensus freshman All-American -- with the Gators.
-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA