It Starts with the Defense: UCF Trusts Kyle Gibson’s Process

Orlando, September 6, 2018– Tampa native and starting Fourth-year safety Kyle Gibson has morphed into a key component within Central Florida’s secondary and has a 2017 (Co) National Championship title and ring to show for. History has a way of repeating itself, and defense wins Championships so it will be interesting to see how the redshirt senior factors in his contributions with a major target on the team’s back to repeat as American Conference leaders and persuade the league to credit their record for the CFB playoffs this time around!  

You can find Kyle lurking in the backfield or up front rushing the edge with his 6’184-pound free-safety frame, Gibson is a through and through defensive back; knocking the wind out of out-stretched receivers and ringing anyone’s bell who so chooses to run into his respected defensive territories. When he’s not lowering his shoulder, he’s staring into quarterback’s souls, jumping routes and high-pointing contested 50/50 balls- throwing his body like a rag-doll at the offenses’ intended targets, ensuring the competition it’s going to be a long day when his cleats touch the gridiron. 


UCF DB Kyle Gibson awaits the snap of the ball during a 2017 regular season game.
Photo: Tom Ketchum

Coming out of Armwood High School as a 4-star recruit in his 2014 class, Gibson had some pretty praises following his name when he committed to the University of Central Florida, such as ESPN charted him at No. 10 in the country’s top safeties list, 30th overall in the sunshine state of Florida and at No. 171 in the 2014 ESPN 300. He was red-shirted, spending his first year developing with the scout team so as a freshman he started 6 of 8 games played, posting 24 total tackles with 2 TFL’s and a break-up. 

Kyle’s workload increased as he participated in all 13 games as a sophomore at defensive back, recording 25 tackles, 18 solo, and another pass break-up. In his latest 2017 junior campaign, he started all 13 games as a safety, tallying 64 tackles- sixth on the team and two tackles for a loss along with one forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries, also tying for the team lead with four interceptions and 4 pass breakups; adding to his stat-line with honors like being named First Team All-Conference First by The American. 

Kyle Gibson during 2017 pregame warm ups.
Photo: Susan Jones

UCF is now #1 in the Florida team rankings and just landed the 19th spot on AP’s Top 25 list after beating down UConn last Thursday, 56-17 in which Kyle had 4 total tackles, 2 assisted and defended against 2 aerial threats.
Can prized senior safety Kyle Gibson and the Knights tie the highly sought-after Championship trophy knot as a legitimate, elite contender even with the significant losses of Head Coach Scott Frost departing to mentor at his alma mater, Nebraska and LB Shaquem Griffin drafted to the NFL? So far so good sitting at 1-0, as the Black and Gold battle South Carolina State this Saturday night so go support your Knights in shining armor as they seek to continue the longest active winning streak nationally with 14 straight, second-longest in conference history and make it 15!  

Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor