Editor’s Note: Today would have featured No. 66, junior offensive lineman Tristen Hoge, but with Hoge’s transfer to BYU, the slate moves up a slot. A version of a 99-to-2 entry did accompany the post regarding Hoge’s transfer.
Listed Measurements: 6-foot-4, 315 pounds
2017-18 year, eligibility: Incoming freshman with four years of eligibility remaining
Depth chart: Gibbons’ placement on the depth chart is largely superfluous at this point, but if he slots in anywhere, it would be as a third-string guard. More than that, expect him to spend 2017 on the scout team.
Recruiting: A rivals.com three-star recruit, Gibbons committed to the Irish in April of 2015, the spring semester of his sophomore year of high school. Though he had an Ohio State offer to consider at the time, Gibbons shut down his recruitment following that commitment, never wavering from Notre Dame.
When discussing the four offensive linemen in the class of 2017 on National Signing Day, Irish coach Brian Kelly framed their arrival in terms of who is already around.
“If you take a look at the recruiting on the offensive line, Josh Lugg, Aaron Banks, Dillan Gibbons, Robert Hainsey, these are guys that are rated as high as any offensive linemen in the country,” Kelly said. “But they’re coming into a situation where we have, for example, on our left side with [senior guard] Quenton Nelson and [fifth-year senior tackle] Mike McGlinchey, two guys that are arguably the best at their position in the country.
“We have very, very good offensive linemen coming in, but we’ve got talented players at that position with experience across the board. We feel great about the depth that we’ve developed at that position.”
WHAT WE SAID WHEN GIBBONS’ NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT ARRIVED
“Gibbons very well could be a prototypical [offensive line coach] Harry Hiestand offensive guard. Already coming in at a good size, some time in a college strength and conditioning program should serve to turn Gibbons into a stout offensive lineman. Just remember the spelling of his first name. That –an ending is bound to trip up some of us in the coming years.”
There are no guarantees in life, but if there were, it would be a guarantee Gibbons spends 2017 preserving a year of eligibility while working with the offensive scout team. That is simply the trend of freshman linemen in Hiestand’s program, with the rare exception of an early enrollee.
DOWN THE ROAD
If Gibbons’ future is indeed at guard — and both his size and style seem most-applicable inside — then he will have chances at playing time beginning in 2018. Current senior left guard Quenton Nelson will head to the NFL after this season, and a number of Notre Dame linemen will vie for that slot, with Gibbons’ classmates such as Robert Hainsey and Josh Lugg presenting as his main competition.
Supposing Gibbons does not win that competition, he is likely to have another chance at a starting slot in 2019 once current senior right guard Alex Bars uses up his eligibility.
Gibbons projects as a piece of patience. In time, he will have his chances, plenty of them, at that. Just not for a few years.
Aside from the five early enrollees, the numbers are not yet known for the incoming Irish freshmen. A little educated guessing can garner estimates for those numbers, and those estimates allow the proceedings to continue sans pause.
The NCAA recommends guards wear a number between 60 and 69. In that range, Notre Dame’s roster does not already have Nos. 60, 61, 65 and 66, that last number formerly being Hoge’s. Which of those this arbitrary exercise assigns to Gibbons does not change much — the next entry comes in at No. 58, anyway.
2017’s Notre Dame 99-to-2
Friday at 4: Goodbye A-to-Z, hello 99-to-2 (May 12)
No. 99: Jerry Tillery, defensive tackle
No. 98: Andrew Trumbetti, defensive end
No. 97: Micah Dew-Treadway, defensive tackle
No. 96: Pete Mokwuah, defensive tackle
No. 95 (theoretically): Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle
No. 94 (theoretically): Kurt Hinish, defensive tackle
No. 93: Jay Hayes, defensive end
No. 92 (theoretically): Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle
No. 91: Ade Ogundeji, defensive end
No. 90 (theoretically): Cole Kmet, tight end
No. 89: Brock Wright, tight end
No. 88: Javon McKinley, receiver
No. 87 (theoretically): Jafar Armstrong, receiver
No. 86: Alizé Mack, tight end
No. 85: Tyler Newsome, punter
No. 84 (theoretically): Michael Young, receiver
No. 83: Chase Claypool, receiver
No. 82: Nic Weishar, tight end
No. 81: Miles Boykin, receiver
No. 80: Durham Smythe, tight end
No. 78: Tommy Kraemer, right tackle
No. 77: Brandon Tiassum, defensive tackle
No. 75: Daniel Cage, defensive tackle
No. 74: Liam Eichenberg, right tackle
No. 73: (theoretically): Josh Lugg, offensive tackle
No. 72: Robert Hainsey, offensive tackle
No. 71: Alex Bars, offensive lineman
No. 70: Hunter Bivin, offensive lineman
No. 69: Aaron Banks, offensive lineman
No. 68: Mike McGlinchey, left tackle
No. 67: Jimmy Byrne, offensive lineman