Gibson wants to be in backfield mix

Nick Gibson rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown during Mississippi State's spring game. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Nick Gibson rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown during Mississippi State’s spring game. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Nick Gibson is one of six scholarship running backs Mississippi State has vying for the starting job this season.

After redshirting his initial year on campus, the former four-star prospect is hoping to be a valuable part of the Bulldogs’ ground game this fall.

“I just try to compete,” Gibson said. “All of the running backs are like my brothers but we all know we are fighting for the job. My main focus is to compete and learn the system so I can be in the rotation this season.”

Each of the Bulldogs’ running backs brings different attributes that can benefit the offense. In Gibson’s case, he feels his assets are pretty well rounded.

“I feel like I bring balance and I’ve got the speed, power and agility,” Gibson said. “I just feel like I’ve got the whole package.”

Gibson got his first opportunity at becoming part of the tailback rotation during the spring, where he rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns on 32 attempts in MSU’s three scrimmages. He led the victorious Maroon team with 14 carries for 79 yards and a 2-yard touchdown run in the spring game.

Gibson added 10-pounds to his 5-foot-11 frame during his redshirt season and the experience also left him with a chip on his shoulder once he hits the field this fall.

“I think (redshirting) benefited me a lot,” Gibson said. “I’ve gained some weight and have also picked up my speed a little bit. I feel like getting redshirted can be used as motivation for me so that this year I can at least be in the rotation.”

The Alabama Sportswriters Association selected Gibson as the Class 5A running back of the year and rushed for 3,507 yards and 42 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Pinson Valley High School.

Gibson admitted he was a little intimidated when he first made the jump to practicing against players with the size and speed of his SEC teammates last year. But after a few weeks of work, Gibson began to get more comfortable with the playbook and his confidence started to return.

“The competition that you’re going against is a lot harder than high school,” Gibson said. “I feel like I adjusted to it while I was on the scout team going against the one’s. I feel like that really bettered my game and going against big guys doesn’t even phase me anymore like it did when I first came in.”

Gibson has set goals high for himself. First on the list is cracking the backfield rotation this fall but also has some lofty long term expectations for the future as well.

“I just feel like maybe in the future and if God is willing, I could be a Heisman candidate someday,” Gibson said.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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