For two years, that’s all Larry Gibbs’ heard when he repeatedly asked the Chuck Long-coached Aztecs football staff for a chance to tryout for the team.
Gibbs, a standout player in his hometown of Riverside, California, fell in love with SDSU when he visited the campus during his senior year of high school. While he didn’t get a football scholarship to SDSU, he was hoping to make the team as a walk-on, but he wasn’t even allowed to tryout during his freshman or sophomore years.
As he waited for his big break with the team, Gibbs concentrated on his studies and became an outstanding student having been honored twice as a top athlete-scholar by the SDSU Athletic Department.
Still, he had no intention to give up his goal of playing football for the Aztecs, so he worked out daily and kept persevering. “It motivated me to work even harder each day Chuck Long didn’t give me a shot,” said Gibbs. “I REALLY wanted to play – football is my life.”
“When Brady Hoke replaced Chuck Long, I continued to ask the staff for a tryout and they finally e-mailed me with the tryout information,” said Gibbs. ”Once I tried out, they called me a few days later to tell me I made the team. It was a dream come true and I can’t explain the feeling. Now I’m having the time of my life.”
Gibbs, now a senior, played during the 2010 season and has the opportunity to start for the Aztecs this year as a defensive end.
After he earns his management degree this December, Gibbs hopes to play professional football, but he has a fallback plan. “If football doesn’t work out, I hope to get a job at Nike, even if it’s just starting as an intern,” he said. “I’ll keep all options open including the possibility of pursuing my Master’s degree.”