Whether it’s defensive end Trevis Gipson or cornerback Reggie Robinson II, the University of Tulsa will likely have a former player taken in this week’s NFL draft.
Tight end Charles Clay was the last Golden Hurricane football player drafted, when the Miami Dolphins selected him in the sixth round in 2011. Linebacker Chris Chamberlain was the last TU defensive player drafted — in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams in 2008.
Gipson and Robinson are both projected to be selected in the draft, which starts Thursday night and continues through Saturday. Robinson is a projected fourth-round pick, with Gipson projected for the fifth round. If both are selected, it would be the first time since 1994 that multiple TU players were drafted.
“We both came in together,” Gipson said. “I’ve watched him grow, he’s watched me grow. I don’t think anybody in our class that graduated would say they would expect for it to be me and him.”
TU was a program fortunate enough to host its pro day before the sports world was shut down because of COVID-19 precautions. The Golden Hurricane’s pro day started at 9:45 a.m. March 12. By the end of the day, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament had been canceled. Campuses across the country continued to close, too, canceling remaining pro days.
“I felt really fortunate that we really got our pro day in about 24 hours before they really started shutting all of those down,” TU coach Philip Montgomery said. “I thought it was great for our guys to get the opportunity for the scouts. Just like we want to go out and put our eyes on guys (to recruit), they got a chance to put their eyes on our guys. I thought we had some guys that did a tremendous job at the pro day part of it. I’m excited for all of them to get the opportunity.”
COVID-19 has left Gipson working out with only his trainer and him in an open field. His draft day party has even dwindled because of precautions against large gatherings.
“I’m really just trying to take advantage of the opportunity,” Gipson said. “I’ve went through a lot of great experiences, obviously, ever since the end of the football season, from the combine, to the Reese’s (Senior) Bowl, really just meeting a lot of new faces. But with this coronavirus, I’m really just trying to put in the most work I can, honestly, to make sure I’m ready.”