At 6-1, 170, Gibson's versatility gives him more than just a "little edge." A standout shortstop and pitcher for Seaford (Del.) High School, Gibson's multi-dimensional abilities were coveted by nearly every major college baseball program east of the Mississippi. Among the suitors were Florida, Delaware, Alabama, Georgia, Miami, and East Carolina. His humble nature prevented him from listing all the schools, as he simply concluded, "I could go on for a little while."
At Seaford, Gibson's versatility was evident on the mound. He finished with a 7-1 record to go with a 1.38 ERA. Opponents amassed a mere 30 hits against Gibson while batting .151.
"He is athletically gifted and those skills give him the ability to change the game," said UNC head coach Mike Fox. "He is also versatile in the fact that he can play shortstop as well as center field."
And those are the two positions where Fox has projected Gibson will play in Chapel Hill.
So exactly what unique characteristic does Gibson possess that makes him so interchangeable in the field? The answer is speed. He has been clocked at running the sixty-yard dash in 6.4 seconds. Baseball aside, he's likely to be one of the best pure athletes at the University of North Carolina. "I'm fast," Gibson said. "I think I can change the game speed-wise."
Gibson's ability to get on base and utilize his speed could be extremely beneficial to a Tar Heel club that finished eleventh in the ACC in both stolen bases and stolen base percentage in 2007.
His skills and athleticism earned him the 2006-2007 Gatorade/Rise Magazine Player of the Year in Delaware. Gibson hit .491 with a home run and 15 stolen bases as a junior. "Derrik has a terrific feel for the game and has been so good for us all year long," said Seaford head coach Kenny Cummings. "He's just a special kid and a special player."
The player-coach relationship is of the utmost importance to Gibson. Thus, the Carolina coaches were one of the major reasons Gibson chose to play at UNC, along with the many celebrated and distinguishing characteristics of the University. And he's quick to use a particular word to describe the different appealing aspects of UNC.
"I think the coaches are awesome, I felt chemistry with them; the student body and how they support their athletics I thought was awesome," Gibson said. "I really like how you can get tutored. I think it's awesome how good the baseball team is and the academics are in the top echelon, too."
Perfect Game ranks Gibson as the 101st overall prospect in the nation, although those close to the Tar Heel program believe he still may be the most underrated player in UNC's 2008 signing class.
Gibson is, however, aware of some parts of his game he'll need to develop to be successful at the next level. "There are some little things that I would like to improve on," he said. "I think when you start getting into ACC baseball you've got to become a smarter baseball player and I think making the right choices and doing the little things is what can make you stand out."
He is currently focused on his senior season, but said he is eagerly awaiting the opportunity that lies ahead: "I think I'm just looking forward to, of course, playing [collegiate] baseball, getting to meet the new guys, and the different environment than where I live here in Delaware."
|Seth Baldwin||OF||Forest City (N.C.) East Rutherford|
|Derrik Gibson||SS/OF||Seaford (Del.) High|
|Matt Harrison||SS||Henderson (Nev.) Green Valley|
|L.J. Hoes||OF||Washington (D.C.) St. John|
|Jason Knapp||RHP||Annandale (N.J.) North Hunterdon|
|Garrison Lassiter||SS||Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth|
|Tim Melville||RHP/3B||Wentzville (Mo.) Holt|
|Jimmy Messer||RHP||Hudson (N.C.) South Caldwell|
|Quinton Miller||RHP||Medford (N.J.) Shawnee|
|Jacob Stallings||C||Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood|
|Jeff May||C||Creedmoor (N.C.) South Granville|
|Brian Goodwin||OF||Rocky Mount (N.C.) High|
|Levi Michael||MIF||Lexington (N.C.) North Davidson|
|Chris Munnelly||RHP||Lewisville (N.C.) Forsyth Country Day|