NC State Basketball: Freshman gem Jaylon Gibson is worth watching

NC State Basketball has a strong recruiting class to lean on in 2020-21. One flying under the radar is Jaylon Gibson, who could have a major imapct.

NC State Basketball had quite the recruiting class coup in 2020, securing some of the top talent in the state of North Carolina. A season after going 20-12 and 10-10 in the ACC, the Wolfpack reeled in the 25th-ranked recruiting class, according to 247Sports, headlined by Shakeel Moore, Cam Hayes, Nick Farrar, Jaylon Gibson, and Ebenezer Dowuona.

With so many freshman additions, it’s a foregone conclusion that one of these names will be one to step up and work wonders in the rotation.

The biggest surprise in the class by far is the addition of 6-foot-10 big man Jaylon Gibson. Gibson was originally committed to Wake Forest before changing his pledge with the firing of Danny Manning.

It came as a surprise that Gibson chose another school in the ACC, but it also speaks on Kevin Keatts’ ability to recruit the Raleigh area. 6-foot-6 forward Nick Farrar is also a Raleigh native that attended Apex Friendship High School.

Gibson is a prospect that has a nose for finding the basketball and always making his presence felt when he’s on the floor. He put up 16 points and 11 rebounds as a senior this past season at GRACE Christian School. He’ll surely bolster a frontcourt that finished eighth in the ACC in rebounds per game (35.7) in 2019-20.

He’s got nice length and athleticism to go along with his 6-foot-10 frame and plays with a ton of energy on both ends. He doesn’t back down from opponents in the post and has a knack for creating on the perimeter on offense, which should benefit a player of his caliber. He’s an active presence on both ends that never stops making plays when he’s on the floor.

While there’s been buzz already surrounding the likes of Shakeel Moore and Cam Hayes, Gibson is another player that fans will want to be aware of. As he gets acclimated to the NC State weight program and embraces Keatts’ defensive philosophy, he’s a gem in the making in the Wolfpack’s frontcourt.