Torrance Gibson’s Transition

The very popular 6’4″ 205 lb, 2015 4-star signee from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Torrance Gibson, was adamant during his recruitment that he would only play QB during his college days.”I view myself as a quarterback, and right now, I’m only considering teams who look at me the same way,” Torrance said. “That’s just the way it is.”  Still, rumors persisted that he would play Wide Receiver because of his crazy athleticism, and some doubts about his accuracy and ability to play QB at the college level arose. “There were a lot of questions about: ‘Can he be a quarterback? Is he an athlete? Can he throw the ball? To be honest, the whole time we were kind of confused by the confusion.” said his primary recruiter and WR coach Zach Smith.

Early on in his time as a Buckeye, the plan was for Torrance to use his crazy athleticism and strong arm to be a full-time quarterback.

Today (August 14th), initial plans changed, and Torrance Gibson was practicing with the wide receivers, better known as Zone 6.

I know, it is fairly confusing that this switch came considering the fact that everybody around the program had been unwavering in the fact that he would play quarterback. Even this past Monday (August 10th) quarterback coach Tim Beck said that Torrance would only play at quarterback. Well, Ohio State football and recruiting guru, Jeremy Birmingham, provided a great deal of insight.

Today, when we arrived at Ohio State’s practice, one of the first things we noticed was that there were only four black jerseys working with the QB group, and that Torrance Gibson was in fact lining up with the wide receivers. On Monday, Tim Beck was vocal that Gibson, one of the country’s most dynamic athletes in the 2015 recruiting class, was a quarterback and that it wasn’t changing. Clearly, it did.

Upon the news of that breaking today, there were a number of people – including some Ohio State fans – who felt troubled that the Buckeyes might’ve been less than upfront with Gibson about his career because he chose Ohio State for one reason: he would be a quarterback and not a wide receiver as many other schools were suggesting.

Gibson has wanted to be a quarterback and that was the plan until the middle of this week when he approached the Ohio State staff. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder informed them that, since he doesn’t want to redshirt this year and he’d most certainly be doing that at quarterback, he wanted to switch and give playing wide receiver a go.

The plan as of right now is for Torrance to play wide receiver this year and then switch back to the quarterback spot next spring. For the skeptics out there, remember that Troy Smith returned kicks and played special teams as a freshman.

So, it’s clear that Torrance is the one who asked to switch positions. He knew he would likely get no playing time as a freshman, and as the type of athlete and person he is, he does not want to redshirt. In order to play this year, he knew he would have to move away from the log-jam at quarterback which includes two of the best in the country in J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, and a player with a year and a half more experience in the system than him in Stephen Collier, and then go to another position group in which he could be successful. As you could see in his highlights clips, Torrance has the size and the speed to be dominant anywhere those two things are used, so he chose to join Zone 6.

Also, as Birm mentioned, this is a one year thing. He’s doing what’s best for him to get on the field, and then go back to the position he loves; quarterback. “We don’t redshirt. It’s not like we are going to say, ‘Hey, let’s save them for the ’17 year and let’s have a heck of a year.’ You can’t do that now, because they are all gone, anyways, after three. If you’re a great player, you’re gone, so play them. If they are not good enough, don’t play them.” said Urban Meyer. I think they are mostly using this idea on Torrance. They know that he has the potential to be such a great player that if they do redshirt him, they will likely only get 2 years of him actually playing in the Scarlet and Gray.

As you know, success is never guaranteed in a position switch like this. So, how did he do today? Well, again, according to Birm, the potential is crazy.

Asked someone this afternoon how Torrance Gibson looked at wide receiver:

“Unbelievable. So natural there. He’s a grown-ass man.”

If Torrance can pick up the playbook, he’s got the potential to really change the offense by adding another outside deep threat opposite Mike Thomas.

It sounds like he is going to be yet another weapon at Urban and Coach Smith’s disposal this year. If he can live up to potential, and the hype, Torrance has the ability to be something special. When asked if Torrance will be able to play this year, though, a source close to the program said he wasn’t sure yet, but “his athletic ability is off the charts,” and they just want to see what he is capable of.

So, don’t get your hopes up too high, because this is a true freshman who has played quarterback for a majority of his football life. It is a hard, and often long transition to become great as a WR member, but I can tell you that with his athleticism, and a great WR coach in Zach Smith, and a former WR coach in Urban Meyer, Torrance has the tools and pieces around him to become great.




  1. […] Jr., Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, (The now injured) Noah Brown, KJ Hill, and now Torrance Gibson. Out of those 14 players listed ( I know I didn’t add Stump), 9 of them need to, and do play. […]

  2. […] but right now we’ve got a little bit of depth.” Also elite QB-turned-WR Torrance Gibson, who may be raw, but is an athletic freak  isn’t listed, but could play if absolutely […]

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