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OSU football: There's no legislating against Justin Gilbert's speed

OSU FOOTBALL — The NCAA's new kickoff rules are going to limit Justin Gilbert's number of returns. But he says if he can bring it out, he will.
by John Helsley Published: August 26, 2012
/articleid/3702878/1/pictures/1809370">Photo - Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert is one of the fastest players in the Big 12, and the new kickoff rule is unlikely to slow him down. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman Archives
Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert is one of the fastest players in the Big 12, and the new kickoff rule is unlikely to slow him down. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman Archives

Green means go.

And, as Gilbert said in discussing the new rule and its impact, he intends to go …

Me being a kick return guy, I'm not liking this too much.

You can't really take it personal, because they're looking out for the health of the kids. You've got to do what's best for the kids. If everyone's getting concussions, and if this rule is better for it, that's what we have to do.

I'm still going to take it out every chance I get, but it will limit the return chances.

If it's in front of me and I catch it in the end zone, and the up-return man tells me to bring it out, we're coming out.

Taking one to the house is like your mom's cooking, you love it.

It's a wonderful feeling, to see the fans jumping up and down.

Being used to having the ball in my hands back in high school, especially at quarterback, touching the ball every play, being able to make plays, I believe that helped me as a return man.

The first time, I was cheesing from about 40 yards in against Baylor. I think I have some pictures of me with my orange mouth piece showing, smiling the whole way.

Back in Little League, the very first time I took one back, it was just reaction. When I got the ball in my hands, I went to the other side of the field, all the way. I guess it was just natural.

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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“Go, Go, Go With Gilbert!”

One of the fastest players in the Big 12, Justin Gilbert's speed has been best on display during kick returns. Just a junior, he's already tied the OSU record with four kick returns for touchdowns. The NCAA's new kickoff rule may limit Gilbert's opportunities for runbacks, but he's being encouraged to go, pretty much given a green light by Cowboys coach Mike Gundy.


* Cowboys coach Mike Gundy: “Get him back there and let him go, because he's such a threat. You just have to make one mistake, and if he hits a seam, it's going to be hard to catch him.”

* OSU cornerback Devin Hedgepeth: “He's so fast, he's really a threat to score on any return. All he needs is a chance. A crack.”

* Kickoff return coach Kasey Dunn: “What makes Justin Gilbert special as a kick returner is his speed. If he can get to a corner, he's gone. He's also fearless enough to explode through a crease. And when he does that, nobody is going to catch him.”

* OSU receiver Isaiah Anderson: “My advice to other teams would be to try to kick it out of the end zone, because he's going to return it. He's so quick at finding the holes and once he does, he hits it. He's very elusive and that's his best asset.”


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