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Former Buckeye Torrance Gibson headed to Cincinnati, back to QB

(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Torrance Gibson is plotting his return to college football. And he's eyeing his old position of quarterback.

Luke Fickell is hitting the ground running as Cincinnati coach. And in building a roster, he saw a connection to Ohio State, where he was defensive coordinator before becoming the Bearcats' head coach.

The match appeared perfect. Gibson announced his plans on Thursday to get an associate's degree this spring and then join the Bearcats.

Gibson, a former five-star recruit, spent two years at Ohio State but never played a down. He redshirted his freshman year, switched to wide receiver, then was suspended by the university for the 2016 season for reasons that were never disclosed.

"I feel like it's the best way for me and my family," Gibson told ESPN on Thursday. "The two years at Ohio State didn't go as planned: redshirting the first year, moving to wide receiver unexpectedly and just the suspension. The university suspending me, I didn't think it was fair the way they did me. That's just what made me really realize that it was time to go, it wasn't the place for me.

"I have a good relationship with Coach Fickell and all the other staff that he has brought with him to Cincinnati. The strength coach, Brady Collins, we have a great relationship. And me and coach Fickell have an awesome relationship now that we're building, and I just felt that was the move for me. I'm just going to go with it. I'm confident about what's happening in the Queen City, and I'm just ready to roll."

Gibson can't dive in straight away with the Bearcats. He'll need the associate's degree and is enrolled at Cincinnati State taking classes. He hopes to be cleared to transfer in immediately to join Fickell's program by May or July.

Initially it appeared that Gibson would spend the next year playing at a junior college, after signing a letter of intent with Mississippi Gulf Coast last month. But by earning his degree, Gibson could be eligible by this fall at another Division I program after he sat out all of last year.

And now he will be nearby to potentially watch some spring practices and get familiar with his new teammates. That could be a major bonus for the Bearcats as Fickell begins installing a power-spread attack like Ohio State's that could feature Gibson's dual-threat athleticism -- and an arm he'll still be using to prepare in case a situation like this developed.

"I've been throwing for a long time," Gibson said. "I haven't told anyone because I didn't think it was a big deal. But I've been throwing back home, throwing even when I was at Ohio State and at receiver even though I didn't tell anyone. That's the position I wanted to play, and this is not just a position to me -- this is what I know how to do. This is what I was born to do.

"I feel like this is the move for me, a great move for my family, and I hope people respect that. I'm ready to get this out of the way so people can stop asking me where I'm going, am I coming back to Ohio State. Let's get this out of the way: I don't want any recruiting drama. I'm committing to Cincinnati."

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