Jason Gibson has dealt with so many phone calls and e-mails that the Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra defensive end plans to narrow down his school list so recruiting is not such a burden but the 6-foot-3, 215-pound recruit admits it's been a difficult process.
"It's been tough, real tough," Gibson said. "My parents have been trying to help me. We've tried to narrow it down because there are people calling, stories, interviews, it's getting tough already. I'm trying to make a top five soon."
California is recruiting Gibson, a Rivals 250 to watch for 2011 member, the hardest and the Serra standout is definitely interested in the Golden Bears.
He recently visited Berkeley and Cal is almost certainly a team that will make Gibson's cut. An early top five is Cal, Florida, Oregon, Arizona and Stanford.
"I talk to (Cal) a lot so we have a little connection and I feel comfortable up there," Gibson said. "Right now they're recruiting me the hardest. That means a lot. They keep in contact every day. It shows they're really interested in me so that's good.
"We keep in contact so much. We're already pretty cool and when I went out there to see for myself because recruiters all say the same thing so I had to see it for myself and it was really what they said so that was big for me."
Florida coach Urban Meyer has been in contact and although Gibson said he'd probably prefer to stay on the West Coast he would consider the Gators if the situation was right. He said interest from Florida has recently increased. It has also offered Serra teammates George Farmer and Marqise Lee.
"I'm starting to hear a lot more from Florida," Gibson said. "I'm planning to take a visit out there sometime. I most likely want to stay in California but if I was to go out of state it would be to Florida. The whole program (stands out).
"(Meyer) really wants me to go out there and visit and see their practices. He wants to know if I'm really interested in them. I was happy I got that scholarship from them."
Gibson said he likes Oregon's defense and that's why the Ducks stand out so much. Stanford was his first offer and the academic/athletic mix in Palo Alto is important. He'd like to visit Arizona to learn more about its program.
In recent weeks, UCLA has increased its interest in Gibson, who might project as an outside linebacker in college. There is uncertainty, though, about Southern Cal because the Trojans have not yet offered. If there is an offer, SC could shoot to the top of Gibson's list but nothing has come through yet.
"I don't know right now," Gibson said. "I like them a lot, that would be my No. 1 school right now, but they haven't offered me and I haven't heard anything from them lately, not anything at all."
Gibson plans to attend the Los Angeles Nike Camp held next month at Southern Cal, another chance for the stud defensive end to show people his skills - something Serra coach Scott Altenberg has seen for years.
"He's very talented, really mature, a captain for us last year as a junior," Altenberg said. "He's just great with his hands. He's an outside linebacker and we can use him a little like that but no one can block him at defensive end.
"I don't think we're doing him a disservice because everybody in America is going to recruit him anyway but if a defense can't block you I feel good keeping him in that spot."
When the former Notre Dame staff came to look at some Serra players, Altenberg said, they asked to see some underclassmen and they were especially impressed with Gibson. It's a story that illustrates just how special Gibson can be on defense.
"One play, halfway through the play, (the Notre Dame coach) hit pause and said, 'Coach, this kid is offered,'" Altenberg said. "'We can't offer him yet but he's offered. I don't need to see any more plays.' He didn't even get through the whole play. He just saw him put his foot in the ground and go boom.
"He's on kickoff team and literally I felt sometimes criminal. He would not stop, slow down, nothing. He would just go and kill. He's a great kid, good grades, good everything, real solid, just an amazing kid."