MORGANTOWN, W.Va. You’ve probably heard of ‘Speedy Gonzales’ the Looney Tunes creation depicting ‘the fastest mouse in all of Mexico’.
You can go ahead and dub the Mountaineers former four-star recruit Shelton Gibson, ‘Speedy Gibson, the fastest Mountaineer in all of West Virginia’.
The 5’11 receiver and kick-return specialist out of Cleveland Heights, Ohio has a lengthy list of attributes including quick heels, tremendous footwork and comfortable mitts. His blistering speed, though, is what sets Gibson apart from most of his Big 12 counterparts.
“In high school, I was a receiver and a fast guy, both,” said Gibson. “When I got here, they taught me how to run better routes. I mean it took me some time, and I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m getting better every single day and I’m never taking a step back.”
During the 2014-15 season, Gibson was mostly utilized on special teams. He was used on 242 total plays, 204 of which were special teams, while seeing action in 12 games. He returned 13 kicks for 250 total yards.
According to senior wideout Jordan Thompson, Holgersen and the coaching staff have re-worked their kick and punt return plans in order to make things more efficient. Thompson says Vernon Davis will likely be the main punt return man. As for Gibson, he says he’ll be more than happy to have a significant role for the Mountaineers special teams ops for a second year in a row.
“I’ll play anywhere the coaches need me to play, any special teams, like last year I didn’t say anything when they wanted me on all four I just went out there and did whatever I did to help the team,” Gibson said. “So wherever I can help the team out,” is where Gibson wants to be.
Dana Holgersen raved about his confidence in West Virginia’s wide receiver corps on day one of fall football camp. After losing the likes of now-NFL players Kevin White and Mario Alford, it’s crucial that Gibson, Dakiel Shorts, Jordan Thompson and maybe even William Crest, among others, stretch the field for the Mountaineers’ passing game to be substantial.
With White and Alford on the field, Gibson’s stat line was relatively quiet. He had just four receptions for a mere 60 yards last season at receiver. Now, all eyes, especially Skylar Howard’s, are on Gibson.
Gibson says he spent time this summer in Texas and Deleware, the home states of two West Virginia quarterbacks Skylar Howard and freshman David Sills, respectively. Both trips have proven to be beneficial to Gibson not only physically, but also from a teamwork standpoint improving the chemistry and bond between receiver and quarterback.
“I think we’re coming along very well,” said Gibson. “We have so much depth. It’s a lot different (this year). It’s a lot more, not so much as pressure, but it’s a lot more that I have to step up because I know I’m gonna play a lot this year. Last year I watched Kev (Kevin White) and Mario (Alford) and saw how they did,” he added, stating that watching the opponents’ corners and how they defended passes played a big part in his learning process.
After redshirting his freshman year in 2013, injury played a small roadblock for the talented Gibson. Now that he’s 100 percent healthy, with three years of eligibility left, Gibson is sure to be the next installment of pure talent and hard work at ‘Wide Receiver U’.