One Georgia high school has 11 seniors committed to play D1 football

Stephenson OL Nicholas Gibbons committed to Memphis (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Stephenson OL Nicholas Gibbons committed to Memphis (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Stephenson High School now has 11 seniors that have both been offered and accepted D1 college football scholarships.

Nicholas Gibbons, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman, said he committed to Memphis over Boston College, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.

Gibbons said it’s special being part of the senior class at the Stone Mountain school, which is a candidate to lead the nation with the most players signing major-college football scholarships in February.

“It’s crazy being around that many good players,” Gibbons said. “It’s a good thing; it only makes you better, being around that kind of competition. Every one pushes each other. There’s always competition.”

Gibbons has a 3.0 GPA and wants to study Computer Engineering.

Here’s a list of the other Stephenson 2012 players that have committed (click on each link to read about each):

Who is next? Stephenson is projected to end up with 14-17 players that will sign D1 scholarships.

RB TJ Moon has Southern Miss, Florida Atlanta and Memphis as his leaders, while DB Kristoff Ricks is considering Maryland, UConn and Middle Tennessee State. LB-TE Amos Harper is favoring Syracuse and Rice, and LB Kadeem Murray is being scouted by Western Kentucky.


  • Lifelong UGA fan will play for archrival Georgia Tech (click on story link)
  • Nephew of 3-time Olympic gold medalist Gail Devers to play football at Virginia (click on story link)
  • Georgia Tech lands DB from same Florida HS as UGA’s Aaron Murray and Orson Charles (click on story link)
  • Georgia’s No. 1 point guard picks UGA over NCAA champ UConn & FSU (click on story link)
  • Peachtree Ridge DB Ray Buchanan, son of the former NFL player, will visit Arkansas on Tuesday. Ray's top five consists of Ole Miss, Arkansas, Illinois, Purdue and Maryland (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

    Peachtree Ridge DB Ray Buchanan, son of the former NFL player, will visit Arkansas on Tuesday. Ray's top five consists of Ole Miss, Arkansas, Illinois, Purdue and Maryland (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

  • Tennessee gets commitment No. 8 in less than a week with Georgia WR (click on story link)
  • Armchair QB Q: Should UGA have signed another RB to go with Isaiah Crowell? (click on story link)
  • Somoan OL Chester Brown picks UGA (click on story link)
  • UGA’s QB of the future: Yet to start in high school, ready to prove scouts are right (click on story link)
  • UGA’s Mark Richt gives a “group hug” after 4 commit together at Dawg Night (click on story link)
  • What do Georgia Tech’s 2012 football recruits think of the NCAA ruling? (click on story link)
  • Who is the best DUNKER in Georgia history? State your case by going here
  • UGA is ranked No. 2 in the nation in recruiting over the last 10 years (click on story link)
  • Georgia Tech basketball coach says NCAA’s penalties will make ACC school stronger (click on story link)
  • How committed is a Georgia RB to Alabama? So much that he cut the “A” in his head (click on story link)
  • Georgia QB picks Louisville over Alabama and Mississippi State (click on story link)
  • Surprise! See 40-yard dash times of Georgia’s top prospects (click on story link)
  • A Georgia football coach, who inspired many with his attitude toward a terminal illness, resigns (click here for story)
  • Georgia State vs. Georgia Southern fans in an epic message board war right here
  • Georgia’s “fastest football recruit” (click here for story)

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item?


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100 comments Add your comment


July 26th, 2011
10:10 am

First!!! Pretty awesome and Go Gators!


July 26th, 2011
10:30 am

Congrats Nick, your hard work payed off.


July 26th, 2011
10:33 am

Carvell, any idea how many of these kids transfered there? He seems like the 3rd one who didn’t start his career there.

Say It Aint So

July 26th, 2011
11:04 am

You will continue to see this article time after time until Stephenson is eliminated from the post season in the 2nd round. Then it will start up again next year. Promote recruiting coordinator to head coach for Pete’s sake.


July 26th, 2011
11:07 am

Congrats to the young man. However I also find it hard to imagine that a team that is always loaded with D1 talent can’t bring home the state title. Is it that the coach is a better mouthpiece for these kids than he is a coach?


July 26th, 2011
11:13 am

Not a single one staying in-state? Do any of our in-state schools recruit at Stephenson HS?

Bill Dawg

July 26th, 2011
11:18 am

None to UGA. It is funny how this talented pool of players avoids UGA.

What is going on?

Interested Observer

July 26th, 2011
11:23 am

Who is supporting this young man and helping guide him through the recruiting process? He has a chance for a free ride at some real academic titans (Vandy, Wake and BC), but elects to go to Memphis? That’s an interesting decision…

A Conservative Voice

July 26th, 2011
11:52 am

Man, that recruiter outta be given a huge raise…….


July 26th, 2011
12:06 pm

to the writer of this post…”one ga high school has 11 players signed to play D1″… How many times in a month do we have to be reminded about Stephenson having all of these players sign LOI’s? One would have his head under a rock not to guess who you were talking about. I’m an AA, so believe I am ecstatic about what’s going on at Stephenson, but it’s news not worth repeating several times a month. Wait until close to signing day, at least. Just saying.


July 26th, 2011
12:11 pm

Interesting but as Bill Dawg said, none to UGA. It seems this year, recruits are committing earlier. This real story might be…will this hurt or help programs like Georgia that are traditionally slow to make an offer?


July 26th, 2011
12:12 pm

as far as the comment about kids transferring: Check Milton and Wheeler in basketball. Also, how the heck does a preppy school with hardly any athletic base win two state titles in a row (Sandy Creek)? By recruiting kids from south Fulton County and getting to move to apartments and rental homes.


July 26th, 2011
12:29 pm

Bill Dawg – you do realize the head coach is Ron Gartrell. He did send his own son (TJ) to UGA several years back. UGA just had other players higher on their board this year than the Stephenson kids.


July 26th, 2011
12:45 pm

Too bad they haven’t won a state title…and won’t again this year


July 26th, 2011
1:31 pm

Next time you run this article can you change the title to read the following: One GA high school pumps out the most D-1 talent but has zero, yes that’s right ZERO, state championships to show.

About time for the Stephenson nuthuggers to jump on board and start screaming it’s not about the titles…


July 26th, 2011
1:44 pm

Man with all that talent I vote we just call the AAAAA season a wrap…what do you think???


July 26th, 2011
2:12 pm

Do you want an individual explanation on each of the 11 as to why they won’t be at UGA?

HardTruth Soldier

July 26th, 2011
2:39 pm

This school pump out D-1 athletes like a trick popping out baby’s in a trailor park, but what they both have in common is they don;t know how to win. Maybe it’s the coaching, maybe it’s the players(not)but what we do know is this there not winning. ZERO state titles. What’s up with that?

Stephenson Supporter

July 26th, 2011
2:51 pm

the article is about Nick not how many rings stephenson has. if the haters focused on reading the articled you might get something from it.

The Truth

July 26th, 2011
3:09 pm

Amazing, simply amazing and mind boggling, all those D-1 prospects, YET unable to win a Championship. How can that be? How can a school so talent rich ever lose a game? They should be dominating Georgia High School football, instead they usually 2-3 regular season games and lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs? What’s the story? Overhyped? Lack of unity? Discipline? Poorly coached? We know it isn’t lack of talent, so what is it? Anyone have the answer?

As regards why Georgia isn’t getting any of these guys, no idea, maybe they weren’t interested in the Georgia program. I’m curious why that question isn’t asked about GT and Fish Fry. Why isn’t GT successfully recruiting these guys? There are guys committed to Vandy, Syracuse, Memphis but NOT GT? Why? It can’t be grades, the young man featured in this piece has excellent grades, as does Herring. Is GT waiting until some of them start entertaining offers from Presbyterian, Western Illinois, North Ala, Western Carolina? Someone ask the question of Fish Fry.


July 26th, 2011
3:13 pm

Here is a better story: What is Stephenson doing to even get their players through the NCAA Clearing house process? How are all of these players qualifying for these offers? Whatever blueprint they are using, I am sure other programs in the Atlanta area would benefit. There are dozens of hidden gems in this town who go on to do nothing because the light never shined on them.

@Stephenson Supporter.. I feel you. The problem is, the writer should have changed the title to specifically name Nick or his position. He left nothing to be desired with that title and caused most people to just gloss over the article and go straight for the kill.


July 26th, 2011
3:24 pm

I applaud this coach for getting these kids noticed and getting them into college. I don’t care if they don’t win a game, not many coaches can say they put that many kids in college. At the end of the day it’s all about education. I wish alot of our own will step up for the sport of baseball – we are pretty much obsolete in college baseball and pros.

Bill Dawg

July 26th, 2011
3:30 pm

@Brian Yes, I know UGA history. You don’t understand why all of these neighboring state schools are swooping in and out recruiting UGA. Disappoints me partna.

Coach Gartrell is a wonderful man and a terrific mentor.

truth be told

July 26th, 2011
3:44 pm

I applaud Stephenson on all the D-1 offers. Do u think they will beat MLK this year. If Stephenson had MLK coaching staff would they win state. I think so…………


July 26th, 2011
3:46 pm

I know J Parris – Shiloh & R Kriby from Gwinnett Football League & they transfered in.. Joshua is an above average player but a great student & kid, comes from a great family.. But for the life of me I do not know why the Jags have yet to sniff a Finals..

Might be because they recruit these kids in as Jr & Sr’s & have great talent, but not cohesive as a unit.. The State championships AA & AAAAA & maybe A, run thur the best sports playing county in the Country – Errrrr that be Gwinnett!!!


July 26th, 2011
4:37 pm

Markuss-Eligwe? The last few times you published the list of Stephenson commits you left off Markuss, and the fact he’s committed to FSU. Is there something we don’t know?


July 26th, 2011
4:43 pm

Why didn’t you just repost the previous 5 articles about Stephenson? Could have saved some time….just a question

[...] One Georgia HS has 11 seniors committed to play football at D1 schools (click on story link) [...]

Something Wong

July 26th, 2011
5:59 pm

GHSA new transfer rules are awesome…. Go Stephenson…..

shs nuthugger

July 26th, 2011
6:02 pm

Hey Goldtimer, Why don’t you school recruit any of our standouts? Funny you bash them for not winning a title but youre own school just got busted by the PoPo and took youre title.


July 26th, 2011
6:35 pm

Congrats to this fine yong man. Now what Stephenson HS football team has to do with this much talent is to allow these players sign earlier so they can concertrate on winning the state championship!!!!!


July 26th, 2011
6:41 pm

MLK has always had talent just look and see who holds the state record for a high school first 6 years. It starts and end with TEAM players not INDIVIDUALS!!!!!!


July 26th, 2011
7:45 pm

The Truth D 1 caliber players usually have a lot of offers and they want to get away from home.Metro Atlanta players usually don’t consider Tech.

Honest Ingine

July 26th, 2011
8:19 pm


just wandering

July 26th, 2011
9:09 pm

how many of these bloggers team has won state titles. if your team has not won one, why are you complaining. and i”m not talking about in the 60’s and 70’s.

Stephenson Supporter

July 26th, 2011
10:30 pm

yall are sad little people congrats stephenson.

Stephenson Supporter

July 26th, 2011
10:33 pm

Honest Ingine,
What money does stephenson have to spend? What facility do they have to brag on?

True Biue

July 26th, 2011
10:53 pm

Dekalb County is always rich with talent in all the sports. I don’t know why UGA and GT don’t recruit hard in their backyard. You look at the schools like MLK , Tucker , Marist , St. Pius , Stephenson , SWD , Cedar Groves , Stone Mountain , Dunwoody and etc. They all have 2 to 3 or more player that will signed LOI in February to a D1 school

True Biue

July 26th, 2011
11:02 pm

Why do FSU , Florida , South Carolina, Alabama , LSU , Auburn offer our in state kids before GT and UGA. Then you have a GT or a UGA fan say that the player wasn’t good enough, buy they offered by the last 5 National Championship Schools

The Truth

July 26th, 2011
11:37 pm

LOL@ the fools saying stephenson needs a coach. I think kids going to college is 10 times more important than state titles. Lot of good that State title will do them when they have to get jobs.

OneOnOneWith TheGreatOne

July 26th, 2011
11:40 pm

Congrats Nick. I wish you much success this year and next year in college. You are a humble young man and will do very well on and off the field….
Now on to some interesting comments. It seems to me that the same bloggers say the same ole stuff whenever a Stephesnon kid gets a little shine. Are most of you all “Dream Killers?” I thought it was a feel good article about a young man doing everything he was suppose to do and is rewarded with a scholarship. Some of you all are so caught up in the school you forget what this article is about. As long as Stephenson continue to produce D-1 athletes articles will be written. So your bashing of the school is like crumbs on the floor. Go to your football program look at what Stephenson has done and pattern yourself behind their blueprint. You might be surprised. It just might work for you…
Sorry for the long blog. Go Jags!!


July 27th, 2011
12:10 am

Your whole premise about Sandy Creek is incorrect:
1. Sandy Creek is far from preppy, i.e even the white boys sag.
2. Sandy Creek vast athletic base; comparable to Central Dekalb. Also, there zone is from
Old National Hwy over by (Our Lady Mercy High) abut to Creekside & Banneker zone. I’m sure you can some athlete in that wide coverage.
3. Not to many apartments .
4. I’m glad I have a choice now. I don’t have to drive all the way to Buford to a program or
drive 20 mins up the rd to Carrollton from South Fulton.


July 27th, 2011
12:32 am


TX fan

July 27th, 2011
2:39 am

So many hate spewing comments for kids. Unreal. Disgraceful. I hope for the best for all kids.

Championships and Scholarships

July 27th, 2011
7:59 am

The focus of the article is this young man, however unlucky as it may be, but thid is a two part article. It just happens to be about the number of committs that Stephenson has going to D-1 programs. If the opportunity arises for kids to transfer to a program that will get them some recruited and it is legal then it is what it is. This is nothing new for student athletes. What occurs at Stephenson has been going on for years. Keep in mind that these athletes are attending camps as well, a lot of them sacrifice their summers to attend these camps. Someone is paying for them to attend these camps. The parents are lost in this whole thing. If attending Stephenson will get their kids into school on a full ride, not a partial ride, then that may be what is best for that family. As far as championships, their has to be a unified concensus throughout the program to rich that goal. If the focus is honing skills to get recognized to get into school and that is the desire of the team, then there will never be a title for the Jags. Imagine the jaggernaut that Stephenson would be if they converted that mentality into winning titles. Remember not all of those kids on the team will get into a D-1 school, so the program sacrifices 50 or so kids for the good of 11 or so. Just a thought. Stephenson is the envy of many schools, that is why you read some of the stuff when it comes to recruiting. Yes we hear it time and time again. 11 D-1 players do not mean that you have the best talent on the field. Some schools don’t do a lot of recruiting in athletics, or they are looking for a full ride for thier kids not just an athletic scholarship. Are these kids guaranteed a full ride? A full ride means that if they don’t make it on the field, can they go on to finish college without finacial hardship? Just a thought.

Recruiting |

July 27th, 2011
8:40 am

[...] headlines as you begin your Wednesday morning.1. Here’s a look at Stephenson High School and its 11 commitments to BCS schools.2. This Pittsburgh offensive lineman is taking a long look at Florida.3. Florida has offered a [...]


July 27th, 2011
8:59 am

Dekalb Fan Tucker and Marist have won two of the last six 4A titles.No excuses you play to win the game.Yes I applaud the college offers,but a state title is what you play for,Just ask Brookwood,Camden County,Lowndes,South Panola MS. Southlake Carrol Tx.Because you have never won you make excuses that its not important.AGAIN YOU PLAY TO WIN!


July 27th, 2011
9:23 am

It’s the same story every year over at Stephenson…lot’s of talent, zero results!


July 27th, 2011
9:23 am

Thanks Michael for your weekly Stephenson update. Please make sure you update after the second week of playoffs when all of these eleven kids will done with high school football because their coach knows nothing about calling a game.

Eastside Eagles

July 27th, 2011
9:44 am

Congrats to Nick!!!! Great job putting those players out there too Coaches!! Coach Corey is doing what WE ALL should be doing with these kids…. putting them out there to be seen!! My son went to a few visits with them (it hadn’t meant nothing LOL!) and the kids are respectful and the college coaches really love their athletism. I won’t hate on Stephenson, NOR Sandy Creek (Eastside waiting on y’all this yr. WONT BE LIKE LAST YR.) because they have great kids and they’re fortunate enough to have great coaches that care. Great Job Fellas