OSU's Gilbert not leaving early for draft
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Monday, January 07, 2013
1/07/13 at 6:10 AM
Oklahoma State junior cornerback Justin Gilbert made it known Sunday that he will return for his senior season instead of making himself eligible for the 2013 NFL draft.
Gilbert informed family members of his intentions and gave his family approval to let the media know about the decision.
Gilbert was quizzed about his future prior to the Heart of Dallas Bowl. He responded by saying he wanted to win for seniors and create a spark for next season.
When asked if that means there will be a "next season" for him, Gilbert said he wanted to consult with family members and try to determine where he might be selected in the draft before reaching a verdict.
Five days after OSU's 58-14 wipeout of Purdue, Gilbert was ready to halt speculation.
A former high school quarterback, Gilbert is blessed with measurables (size, speed) that made him a mock draft darling before this season started and he is valued as a return man. He'll enter his senior year as the nation's active career leader in kickoff returns for touchdowns (five) and will rank fourth among active career leaders in kickoff return yards.
After recording five interceptions as a sophomore (three came at the expense of quarterbacks chosen in the top 10 of the 2012 draft) and earning defensive MVP honors in the Fiesta Bowl, Gilbert was held without an interception as a junior. By staying in school, he hopes to upgrade his draft stock.
Gilbert was OSU's fourth-leading tackler this season, leading the team in pass break-ups and forcing a fumble that teammate Daytawion Lowe returned for a score in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Junior running back Joseph Randle has yet to announce whether he is staying at OSU or vaulting to the NFL. Randle was the Big 12's leading rusher this season.
Original Print Headline: OSU's Gilbert not leaving
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389