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SJSU's Gilbert hopes to make big splash at NFL combine

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    SJSU's Gilbert hopes to make big splash at NFL combine
    By Laurence Miedema


    Mercury News

    Posted: 02/17/2009 07:03:28 PM PST


    The word is out on Jarron Gilbert.

    In a matter of weeks, the San Jose State defensive tackle has gone from virtual unknown to draftnik darling to one of the most highly anticipated participants in the NFL combine, which begins today in Indianapolis.

    "There is definitely a buzz about him,'' an NFL scout said.

    SJSU defensive coordinator Keith Burns said: "He's come out of nowhere and skyrocketed. We're spoiled seeing him all the time, but I think he'll surprise a lot of people.''

    Most draft experts have Gilbert pegged as a second-round pick or even a late first-rounder.

    No matter what happens in April, few of the more than 300 players invited to the combine have seen their stock rise quicker than Gilbert, one of 13 players with ties to local schools who will attend the scouting showcase.

    "I was really determined and focused to be in the position where I am now, but things has changed so fast,'' Gilbert said. "It's shocking.''

    Coming off a dominating senior season in which he led the nation in tackles for loss, Gilbert was largely considered a mid- to late-round draft pick. That perception began to change during workouts at the East-West Shrine Game in January.

    About the same time Gilbert was receiving rave reviews from bloggers covering the all-star game (including NFL scouts), a jaw-dropping YouTube video shot by Gilbert's SJSU teammates last summer resurfaced that became the talk of draftniks as well as NFL


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    talent evaluators.

    The 24-second clip shows the 6-foot-6, 280-pound Gilbert, from a crouched position under about three feet of water, leaping out of a swimming pool onto the deck and landing on his feet. The clip had been viewed nearly 120,000 times through Tuesday night (mostly in the past six weeks), and was highlighted on ESPN2's First Take Live, which had Gilbert on the show this morning to talk about the clip.

    Gilbert said he attempted the feat because he was told former NFL player Adam Archuleta had done it.

    "I don't know if it's true or not, but one day I just went out there and tried it, messing around,'' Gilbert said. "As soon as I figured out how to do it, I wanted to put it on tape.

    "It feels great (being a YouTube star). It's one of the best marketing decisions I ever could have come up with.''

    Gilbert has received a lot of attention for the clip — as well as his 7-foot-1 wingspan, 36- to 38-inch vertical jump and ability to squat more than 630 pounds — although his game films also are receiving rave reviews. Some scouts began to notice Gilbert only while they were evaluating tape of Spartans cornerbacks Coye Francies and Christopher Owens.

    "You can't watch tape without Jarron jumping off,'' Burns said.

    Plenty of eyes figure to be on Gilbert this weekend. After the buildup of recent weeks, is there any additional pressure to produce on his biggest stage yet?

    "People are expecting big numbers from me at the combine, and I should be able to meet them,'' Gilbert said. "I feel prepared and confident. I figured if I worked hard enough and kept pushing I'd be where I want to be. This is more rewarding than anything.''

    Contact Laurence Miedema
  2. DaBoys4Life

    DaBoys4Life Benched

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    I really hope we can draft this guy.

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