Senior tight end Ben Gibbs said his experiences on the ACU football team go much deeper than just on-field development.
“As far as becoming a man, becoming a Christian man, they don’t teach you that kind of thing anywhere else,” Gibbs said. “Being here at ACU has just been such a blessing. God has opened up so many doors for me.”
After an ACL tear against Texas A&M- Kingsville earlier this year, Ben’s position on the team quickly transitioned from leading tight end to leading strictly from the sideline.
“It’s definitely tough to watch and not be out there with my guys, but that’s when I had to lead in a different way and step into a coach’s capacity, I guess you could say,” Gibbs said.
According to Head Coach Chris Thomsen, Ben’s ability as a player is only a small part of his influence on the team as a whole.
“Ben is just a high character person, shows up every day ready to go to work and never complains,” Thomsen said. “The full package Ben has – the football ability, leadership, character – makes him one of the best Wildcats who has played here in my 14 years of being associated with the program.”
Gibbs came to ACU with the intent of playing both football and baseball, but pursued only his baseball career for three years before stepping onto the football field to shoulder the pads once more in 2009.
“You could see really quick that he would be a good player, but he has really worked hard to improve and he’s now developed into a real NFL prospect,” Thomsen said. “We’ve had some great tight ends here, but he’s the best one I’ve seen. ”
Though Ben couldn’t physically be on the field Saturday against Incarnate Word, he was represented by his teammates who wrote his number on their arms.
“It’s awesome, it just shows how the players feel about him as a person,” Thomsen said. “He’s a great team guy and really knows how to really draw a team together.”
Gibbs’ senior year and injury doesn’t mean the end of his football career, however. He has aspirations of playing on Sundays.
“It really depends on how the surgery and rehab goes, but ultimately that’s God’s will,” Gibbs said. “That’s obviously what I want, but if that is where He wants me, that’s where I’ll be.”
Gibbs, who will have surgery Monday, is being evaluated by NFL scouts and plans to participate in the NFL combine and pro day.