From the moment their cleats hit the football field Jaden and Isaiah Gibbs always knew one thing, they would have each other’s back.
“We get to go out there and talk smack and I know he’s out there with me.” Jaden said. “So we can laugh back to the huddle.”
The cousins starting playing football together at the age seven for the Junior Ads. At that time, suiting up alongside one another at the college level seemingly a pipe dream.
“That (playing together in college) was big,” Isaiah explained. “That was a big thing when we were younger”
“We tried to think about it as much as we can,” Jaden echoed. “We tried to make it come true.”
Flash to their senior year of high school, where the running back and wide out duo were both receiving offers from Division I Football Programs. For Isaiah, he knew the moment he stepped foot on campus that UT Martin was going to be the place he called home.
“The coaches treat you like one of your own,” explained Isaiah. “I felt like it was a great fit for me not only athletically but also as far as academics they had the major that I wanted. Overall, the relationships got stronger and strong. And i felt like this was the place I wanted to be, so I committed.”
The Skyhawks brought Isaiah a dual-threat, the major he wanted and the chance to play football at the Division I level. The running back felt at home, yet couldn’t help but feel like something was missing.
When I first committed I was like there’s a chance we (Jaden and I) won’t be able to play together,” Isaiah said.
Isaiah, the elder cousin by three months, had to wait for his cousin to be born. Eighteen years later he’d have to wait a few months again for Jaden to decide that Martin was the place for him as well.
“It took a little while because I wanted to kind of wait out the process and everything make sure it was right for me,” Jaden explained. “But I always knew Martin, I would probably end up being with my cousin.”
The pair put pen to paper on signing day making it official, the Gibbs are now skyhawks.
From the days of Junior Ads to College Football – they’ll spend the next four years with a Gibbs by their side.
“It’s more a blessing that we’re related and that there’s always someone you can go to if you’re down, homesick I got him by my side,” Isaiah said.