ST. PETERSBURG – Decked out in a newly purchased Stanford tie, St. Petersburg Catholic offensive lineman Reilly Gibbons officially signed with the Cardinal on Wednesday afternoon in the school’s media center.
Gibbons didn’t make the decision to attend Stanford until last weekend, when he took an official visit. Prior to that, Gibbons was committed to Miami.
“It was a very hard call to make,’’ Gibbons said. “But overall, you have to know that this is a business. This is my life. I have to make the choice that is best for me. I think I did that."
Gibbons said he found out that his application to Stanford was accepted on the Saturday morning of his visit to Palo Alto. It was then that he realized he’d be heading west to attend college.
“They really care about the academics and that’s what makes them different from a lot of other schools,’’ Gibbons said. “I figured out Saturday morning that my application was accepted. That was a huge moment for me. My dad (Shannon) actually choked up a little bit. He’s not usually an emotional guy."
Before the family left Stanford, they made one last stop.
“We went to the bookstore,’’ Gibbons said. “My mom and dad will absolutely not let you see that receipt."
And what about the Miami gear?
“Haven’t figured that out yet," Gibbons said.
Also signing on Wednesday with Gibbons was fellow offensive lineman Elevisi Halapio, who will attend Warner Christian. Three non-football players, Mike Rusnak (track, Army), Genevieve DiVito (soccer, Smith College) and Rebbeca Harb (soccer, West Georgia), also signed.
Football players Chris White and Joe Uhatafe are expected to sign later this week, according to SPC athletic director Mike Moran.