Jaxon Gibbs had plenty of opportunities to head out of state to continue his football career on the college level.
The more the safety from The Colony considered those options, the more alluring the opportunity to stay close to home and play for North Texas became.
Gibbs made his decision to play for UNT official on Sunday and committed to the Mean Green.
"I prayed about it and felt it was best for me and my family to stay close to home," Gibbs said. "I was open to all my offers, including the out of state ones."
Gibbs had plenty of options. Illinois, Bowling Green, Louisiana-Monroe, Prairie View A&M and Midwestern State all offered him a scholarship.
Verbal commitments are non-binding. The midterm signing period for players in the Class of 2018 begins on Dec. 20.
Gibbs finished with 108 tackles tackles and two interceptions as a junior and saw his options expand over the past few months. He is ranked No. 98 on The Dallas Morning News' Area Top 100 list.
Gibbs is rated a three-star prospect in 247Sports' composite rankings.
UNT defensive coordinator Troy Reffett recruited Gibbs and convinced him playing for the Mean Green was his best opportunity.
"Coach Reffett is a great coach and cares a lot about his players," Gibbs said. "I liked that about him."
Gibbs visited UNT earlier this summer. The Mean Green quickly became one of the top schools he was considering after that trip.
Gibbs said he didn't know much about what UNT had to offer before his visit. He came away impressed.
"It's a beautiful campus and everything is close together," Gibbs said.
Gibbs' plan all along was to commit before his senior season. He followed through and said he feels good about securing his future.
"It 's always good to have a backup plan just in case I get hurt during my senior season," Gibbs said.
Gibbs is the fourth recruit UNT has picked up this month, joining Marshall offensive lineman Kameron King, Holmes (Mississippi) Community College defensive end Vada King and Anna safety Keelan Crosby.
Featured photo: Jaxon Gibbs (4) tackles Frisco fullback Idrees Ali during the 2015 season Toyota Stadium in Frisco. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)