Kyle Gibson, #9 Safety in America, Picks Vanderbilt for '14

Gibson could be the successor to Kenny Ladler in the Vanderbilt secondary. - Frederick Breedon

Kyle Gibson, a four-star safety from the same Florida high school as QB Josh Grady, picked Vanderbilt on Thursday. The rangy ballhawk turned down Florida State, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Michigan State to play for James Franklin.

Vanderbilt got one of the biggest commitments of the class of 2014 this week, earning a verbal pact from Florida safety Kyle Gibson on Thursday. Gibson gives Vandy their fourth four-star athlete in next year's recruiting class.

Gibson is a 6'0", 169 pound free safety was ranked 9th at his position by ESPN and 13th by Rivals. Both sites have him rated as one of the top 200 high school seniors in the country. He's the third safety - and fifth (or sixth) member of the secondary in this Vandy class. That'll be a big boost for a Commodore squad that stands to lose Andre Hal, Javon Marshall, and Kenny Ladler to graduation this spring.

Getting Gibson brings a premium player to carry on Vanderbilt's recent tradition of strong play in the secondary. The Seffner native will fill a high-profile role that Commodore fans had hoped Leon McQuay would have taken, but the five-star safety picked Southern California over the 'Dores late in the recruiting process last year. Now, Gibson will become the team's first four-star safety under James Franklin.

He'll join versatile defender Trent Sherfield and hard hitting Emmanuel Smith at safety next summer. Franklin now has 18 commitments for the class of 2014, and he's likely to add seven or eight more players, depending on departures. According to ESPN, that puts the Commodores 25th in the recruiting rankings with a little over six months to go before Signing Day.

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