The Class of 2016 is barely underway and Notre Dame has already secured its first commitment for the class of 2017 after offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons committed to the Irish over the weekend.
Gibbons, a native of St. Petersburg, Florida, might only be just a sophomore but he had already picked up offers from Ohio State, Cincinnati, Michigan State, South Carolina, Louisville, and Wet Virginia among a few others as well. The Max Prep’s Sophomore All-American plays at Northside Christian where he is coached by former NFL and Purdue standout Mike Alstott.
Gibbons’ father told the Tampa Bay Times that his son felt that Notre Dame was in his DNA.
“He thought about it and thought about it and he finally decided that he didn’t want to wait anymore,” Shannon Gibbons said. “So we called (head) coach (Brian) Kelly and told him about our decision. Dillan told him that he thought going to Notre Dame was in his DNA.”
This past week Gibbons made an unofficial visit to Notre Dame with his father during which the Notre Dame coaching staff extended an offer to the young offensive lineman many consider to be one of the top talents in his class. It didn’t take him long to decide that Notre Dame was where he wanted to be either.
While the Florida region is technically the domain of new running backs coach Autry Denson, it was offensive line coach Harry Hiestand who spearheaded the recruitment of Gibbons – just as he does most offensive linemen the Irish have landed since his arrival. Landing Gibbons continues the dominance Hiestand has shown in securing top notch talent to work with on the offensive line. Notre Dame currently has a commitment from 5-star Tommy Kraemer in the class of 2016.
Gibbons is the younger brother of Rielly Gibbons who Notre Dame recruited in the class of 2012 but lost out on to Stanford. The older Gibbons, a former Under Armour All-America, has since transfer to South Florida.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly reportedly received the news of Gibbons commitment while on vacation with his family.
This is this earliest we can remember Notre Dame securing its first commitment for a class in a while. Two years ago Jerry Tillery made a very early commitment as well, but his came in the June before his senior season. Gibbons has Tillery beat by two and a half months.