Jahmyr Gibbs chooses Georgia Tech

Ending months of speculation and fan hand-wringing, Dalton High running back Jahmyr Gibbs declared Wednesday that he’ll play for Georgia Tech. Gibbs, the four-star prospect who committed to Tech and coach Geoff Collins in May but then entertained offers from multiple powerhouses as he rocketed through his senior season, stayed true to his word and finished off Collins’ first full class with a flourish.

Gibbs did not belabor the moment. Seated at a table surrounded by family on the school auditorium stage, Gibbs took the microphone after teammates had done their signings and first thanked God, family and friends. Then, his announcement, seated in front of hats from Tech, Florida and LSU.

“I will further take my education and my athletics to Georgia Tech,” he said, donning a white cap with “TECH” stitched across the front.

In his choice, Gibbs (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) offered further confirmation of the recruiting prowess of Collins and his staff as evaluators and salesmen. As of Wednesday morning, Tech’s class ranked 26th nationally, the team’s highest rating since 2007. Selecting Tech over the national champion and a traditional SEC powerhouse speaks to the gains that Collins and general manager Patrick Suddes have made in a little more than a year.

» MORE: Tech 2020 signing class

Tech benefited from a relationship developed with Gibbs by running backs coach Tashard Choice, a tie that helped the Jackets maintain their standing with Gibbs as schools such as Alabama, Ohio State and LSU pursued him. The two communicated two to three times a week during the fall, when Gibbs’ recruiting took off as he ran for 2,554 yards and 40 touchdowns.

Asked how he made his decision, which boiled down to Tech and Florida, Gibbs responded, “Coach Choice.”

Gibbs said that Florida’s appeal was coach Dan Mullen and running backs coach Greg Knox, the culture and the location.

“Coach Mullen, he’s had great success everywhere he’s been,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs offered a vision for Tech’s future that will please Jackets fans.

“We’re going to change it,” he said. “We’re going to get a lot more wins.”

For a second year in a row, Collins has landed one of the top running backs in the state, following his signing of Jamious Griffin out of Rome, also a four-star running back last February. Gibbs is the No. 75 prospect in the country, the No. 10 prospect in the state and the No. 8 running back in the country (247Sports Composite).

Gibbs will join a stable of running backs that includes All-ACC selection Jordan Mason, Griffin and Jerry Howard.