Veteran Linebacker Raves About Transfer Jahmyr Gibbs

Getty MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 06: Jahmyr Gibbs #1 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets runs for a 29-yard touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

It is no secret Alabama Crimson Tide fans across the country have been awaiting the day that running back transfer Jahmyr Gibbs suits up in crimson and white for the first time. Fortunately, during fall camp he has already impressed his other teammates, specifically senior linebacker Henry To’o To’o. Both Gibbs and To’o To’o transferred to Alabama for their junior season. 

To’o To’o transferred from rival Tennessee in 2021 and immediately became an intricate part of the Tide’s stout defense where he appeared in all 15 games. During his first season in Tuscaloosa, he recorded 111 total tackles, four sacks and seven and a half tackles for a loss. 

Gibbs on the other hand transferred from Georgia Tech in December of 2021. While at Georgia Tech in 2021, he rushed for 746 yards on 143 attempts. He is also known to spread out the field and play a receiving role. Last season he caught 35 passes for 465 yards for an average of 13.3 yards per catch. In total, he racked up 1,211 all-purpose yards and scored six touchdowns in 12 games for the Yellow Jackets. 

The Veteran Linebacker Comments On Gibbs Early Performance

During fall practice on Friday, August 5, To’o To’o was lined up across from Gibbs during drills, even going head-to-head in several. When asked about his experience guarding the projected starting running back thus far, To’o To’o raved about him.

“Jahmyr’s been doing great,” To’o To’o stated to reporters. “[He’s] So fast, so elusive. Gets in and out of his cuts so quickly. I’ve never guarded a running back like him before. So being able to see that for me has been so helpful to me because it lets me know how I can work on my game.”

To’o To’o decided to return to Alabama for his senior year stating the team had “unfinished business” after their loss to Georgia in the National Championship game in January. He likely would’ve been a high draft pick in 2022 if he declared but instead he decided to come back to play with even more talent than last year. To’o To’o will also have the opportunity to boost his draft stock this season and could likely find himself in a better position than he would’ve if he left for the National Football League this year. 

“But Jahmyr’s been great,” To’o To’o said. “Our whole running back room’s been great. We’re really deep in that room. So being able to have guys like that, back-to-back punches, is going to be huge for us.”

The Crimson Tide has several backs returning this season that could replace Gibbs if needed including junior Jase McClellan and Trey Sanders

To’o To’o could serve as mentor for Gibbs 

As To’o To’o was once a new transfer at Alabama trying to learn everything while fitting in, Gibbs will now be too. The transition may not be as hard as it seems though. To’o To’o feels confident in his place at Alabama and no longer feels like the new guy.

“I don’t consider myself a transfer anymore,” To’o To’o stated. “Getting a degree from the University of Alabama, I’m super excited about that, being a part of the family. The bonding has on this team – defense, offense, the whole entire team. Something you have to face. You have to perform how you want to perform.”

While four other players are transferring into the Tide’s program this year as well, To’o To’o can be that friendly face and helpful hand as he was once in their shoes. Gibbs also brings a new element to the Tide’s offense that has been missing for some time: a back who can run as well as he can catch. With Alabama bringing in two other receivers through transfer and having the Heisman winner at quarterback, they will wreak havoc across the college football landscape.

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