Hampshire senior Mike Gibas gave a verbal commitment on Monday to play football at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
A 6-foot-3, 275-pound lineman who helped lead Hampshire to the playoffs for the first time since 2008, Gibas was a two-way starter at offensive guard and defensive tackle/end until a late-season injury limited him to offense only.
He and his fellow offensive linemen paved the way for an offense that rushed for 2,045 yards and threw for 1,091. The 18-year old Hampshire resident is expected to play guard or center in college.
"It's the greatest honor ever," Gibas said of studying and playing football at the Air Force Academy. "It's one of the best institutions in the country. To be a part of that football program and to be part of the tradition of our military, I mean, you can't do better than that."
Gibas first came in contact with the Air Force coaching staff last February and made unofficial visits to the Colorado campus in over the Fourth of July weekend and again in November. It was during the November visit, when the Cadets played a home game against Notre Dame, Gibas decided he would attend the academy if made an offer, which was extended via a letter on Nov. 18.
Gibas, who could have accepted a spot as a preferred walk-on at the University of Miami (Fla.), called the Air Force staff Monday morning to accept. Also Hampshire's senior class president, Gibas is an honor student who takes AP courses. He intends to major in business.
"It's nice to get it out of the way and have it finalized," Gibas said of his college choice. "I can't wait. I think going to the Air Force is one of the greatest things you can go do."