Due to a number of factors — mainly exposure — Gipson wasn’t thought of by many as a Power Five prospect prior to the start of this high school football season.
However, that changed when Aliquippa hired Mike Warfield to replace long-time head coach Mike Zmijanac.
One of the biggest staff hires that Warfield made was bringing former Rochester and Penn State star Derek Moye aboard as the team’s wide receiver coach. Moye brought with him instant credibility having performed at that position at the highest level.
Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with Moye to get his reaction to his star pupil’s big news and to find out the upside Gipson has as a future Pitt wide out.
“I’m very proud of him. Very proud but not surprised,” Moye told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “From the first time I was able to see Will on the field going through drills, you can see that he had the ability to be a Power Five wide receiver. Not just a Power Five receiver but be a player that has the ability to excel at that level.”
“One of the biggest things that he’s improved on most has been his route running in general. In the offense he played in last year, they didn’t run many routes it was just basically go-routes and hitches. Now he’s able to run every route that’s on the route tree and with his ability, he’s getting open pretty much at will at this point.”
Although he’s put up incredible numbers this year, Gipson is still really a raw talent that has areas of his game that can be improved upon. I asked Moye what’s the biggest area that Gipson can continue to work to improve on.
“I think the biggest thing and for receivers like himself that are transferring into the college game is to learn how to deal with press coverage better, working on your releases and working on being good with your hands. Those are things that aren’t needed a lot at the high school level because you’re not going to be facing top defensive backs every week. I think once he gets exposed to that and the defensive backs at Pitt where they’re up in his face and getting their hands on him, it’ll make him more aware of some of the different types of releases he’s going to have to work on.”
And once he’s able to work on and improve in that area, Moye thinks the sky is the limit for Gipson and that Pat Narduzzi is bringing in a big-play receiver into his program.
“I definitely think that once he gets in the weight room and works on some small points of his game, I definitely see him being a game-breaker,” said Moye. “Someone who can be a number one receiver that’s able to make plays down the field, that’s able to make plays underneath and be the whole package and whatever they want him to do.”
The term “diamond in the rough” is used a lot in recruiting and many people believe that’s the case with Gipson. There’s a good chance that if he had played in the current Aliquippa offense for a couple of years, his offer list would’ve been a lot bigger than Pitt, Rutgers and Ball State.
“I would 100% agree with that,” said Moye. “Will came out to work with me before I was actually hired at Aliquippa to get ready for some camps and things. It took not even ten minutes of us doing drills and I said to myself, how does this kid not have any Power Five offers let alone ten. Obviously, it’s come to light this year how good of a player he has the potential to be.”
13 Game Highlight Tape (includes Wpial championship) 51 Catches 20 Touchdowns 1494 Yards ???????? https://t.co/nt4USH0dRo
— Will Gipson (3⭐️) (@TrxllWill3) November 20, 2018