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Can John Gibson overcome a late-2015 funk to play a role as a senior?

His speed and feistiness will always give him a shot, but can he avoid costly breakdowns?

NCAA Football: Missouri at Arkansas State Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

John Gibson

6’0, 190, Sr.

Missouri City, TX
2015: 9.5 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBU
2014: 24.0 tackles, 1 TFL, 4 PBU
2013: 11.5 tackles, 1 INT, 3 PBU

davidcmorrison: Gibson’s been an enigma in the “David Johnson” mold during his time on campus, give or take a few possibly inflammatory tweets. The potential surrounding him has been blinding, thanks to his speed to burn and past as a track star, but the flashes have never turned into concentrated beams of light.

He started the 2014 season as the starter opposite Penton, only to have Kenya Dennis be all “MINE” almost immediately. He went from third corner challenging Dennis for playing time at the beginning of last season to someone who did not see a snap on defense over the final three games of last year. Let me rewind that back a second. He did not. Play a defensive snap. That counted. For Missouri. Over the season’s final three games. He showed kick return potential as a redshirt freshman in 2013, but even that took a big hit (along with the rest of Missouri’s return units) last year.

So what do we make of Gibson entering his final year with the Tigers. He should be a rotational player. Outside of Penton, there’s really nobody in this group where you say “this guy needs to play all the time!” So there’s still a role there for Gibson if he seizes it. He has the speed and athleticism to match up with receivers deep, but he’s also shown the tendency to get a bit crossed up.

During his career, his peaks have seemed to come early in the season, only to wane over the course of the year. He’s got one more season to try and reverse that trend.

Sam Snelling: Gibson is a guy who I’ve always thought would have a breakout moment or game in which he showed he was the guy for the other side. He’s just never been able to capture the flag. Is this the year? Doubtful. Gibson is likely the player he’s going to be. If he can be reliable enough he’ll find ways to see the field.

Bill C.: I mentioned earlier that Aarion Penton is the perfect Gary Pinkel Cornerback. A big part of that is in his ability to not suffer deep glitches, to keep the play in front of him, then make plays on top of that. John Gibson’s potential has been obvious for a while, but it does seem like he has yet to get past the glitches. And when he suffers one, it seems to go for a big gain, not a small or medium one.

Such is life as a cornerback, I guess. With Gibson’s athleticism, he’s always going to be one step away from becoming a difference maker. But the slump at the end of last season wasn’t an exciting sign, especially considering his defensive coordinator from 2015 (i.e. the guy who likely determined he shouldn’t see the field) is now the head coach. Gibson is feisty and fast and shouldn’t be written off yet, but he obviously has something to prove.

John Gibson vs BYU Derrick Forsythe (Rock M Nation)