Justin Gilbert standing out on defense

Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert made an impact as a true freshman kick returner last year, but he is looking like a difference maker at cornerback in spring ball.
By Brandon Chatmon, Staff Writer, bchatmon@opubco.com Published: April 1, 2011

When Justin Gilbert steps on the football field, he immediately stands out from the crowd.

The Oklahoma State cornerback just has the look of a difference maker.

“There aren't many (people) walking around that look like him and run like him,” coach Mike Gundy said.

Gilbert made an immediate impact as a true freshman last year, leading the Pokes in kickoff returns. He averaged 26.82 yards per return with touchdowns against Baylor and Oklahoma.

This season, Gilbert is looking to be more than a standout kick returner; he's looking to make an impact as a cornerback.

And the early returns from this spring are very promising.

“The sky is the limit for him,” Gundy said. “Whatever he puts into it, he's going to get out of it.”

When quarterback Brandon Weeden was asked which defender stood out in Wednesday's scrimmage, he didn't hesitate.

“Justin Gilbert,” he said. “I think Justin Gilbert is special; he stands out.”

Last year was Gilbert's first season at cornerback and it took him a while to get comfortable playing defense after starring at quarterback at Huntsville (Texas) High School.

Spring drills have created the ideal situation for Gilbert to gain the needed experience required to become a core member of OSU's defense in 2011.

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