STILLWATER — Teammates and coaches have raved about Justin Gilbert this spring, saying the athletic cornerback is refocused and performing well in Oklahoma State's more aggressive defense following a disappointing 2012 season where he did not record an interception and was often picked on by opposing offenses.
Gilbert showed he was worthy of that praise in Saturday afternoon's spring finale, picking off two passes and using his blazing speed to record 108 total yards on those returns.
Gilbert talked with The Oklahoman following the scrimmage about his big day and how he benefits from the Cowboys' new defensive style.
Q: After last season's struggles — and the positive reviews you've been getting in recent weeks — how gratifying was it to have a performance like this in the spring finale?
A: I think we pretty much showed out on the field. We came out starting off the spring as a defensive back unit not giving up any deep balls and playing more aggressively. Bringing it out here in the spring game and showing that, I think it's going to carry over into the season.
What did you see on the two interceptions?
A lot of green. And then I got kind of tired at the end, so I got caught.
How does the new aggressive defensive approach affect you?
I pretty much motivated myself to come out and just do the things that I needed to do to get where I want to be. I like the new scheme that we have coming in, though. Being more aggressive on the receivers instead of just slinking off and waiting to see what's going to happen and then acting.