Jefferson Davis High School
Zyon Gilbert Florida Atlantic University
“Veteran defensive back with over 3,000 snaps. Gets flagged often, but has good instincts for the ball”
Above average athlete, smooth mover and has decent speed. Looks more comfortable in off-coverage, can sit and break on passes. Good ball skills, finds the catch point to dislodge passes. Understands zone coverage and his assignment, stays in good position in quarters and cover three. Instinctual in zone, puts his eyes in a good spot and keeps everything in front of him.
Thinner frame at six-foot 183-pounds, lacks length with 29 inch arms. Would like to see more physicality playing against the run and getting off blocks on the edge. Man technique needs work, lets receivers cross his face with inside leverage. Bites hard on double moves, doesn't have the recovery speed to makeup. Flag machine, when he gets beat, holds and interferes often. Poor tackler, doesn't look to wrap up consistently. Press technique isn't quite there, gets off balance. Needs to get his hands on receivers early in their stem.
A rare five year starter, Zyon has been a staple for this Owl secondary since his first day on campus. A leader for this defense, made big plays in big games. Needs to tighten up technique and the ability to play one-on-one at the next level. Gets beat on crossing routes too easily and gets flagged too often. Should see him stick on practice squads with a chance to be a special teams contributor.
From Montgomery, Alabama and attended Jefferson Davis High School. Graduated as a three star recruit with offers from South Carolina, Cincinnati, and Illinois. Played for coach Lee Carter. Earned All-State honors twice. Participated in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game. Communications major at FAU. Played in 60 total games in five seasons. Tallied 248 tackles, five interceptions, and 31 passes defended. Three time C-USA honorable mention. Member of Bruce Feldman’s freak list.
“Gilbert has reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds. He also has an eye-popping 42-inch vertical jump and an absurd 136-inch broad jump. All three those numbers would have put Gilbert at or near the top of the cornerback position at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. Gilbert also regularly eclipses the 20 MPH mark on FAU's player GPS tracking, topping out at 23.8 MPH.”- Owls 247.
From Owls 247 - Owls' corners coach Stanford Samuels Jr. recently also spoke highly of Gilbert's leadership.
''His experience is one of the most beneficial for us ... he does a great job of mentoring and being that example for the guys. He also does a good job of helping to bring those guys along. There are times where I am coaching or talking to someone else. He does a great job standing in, along with [Dishuan] Moss and [Romain]Smoke [Mungin]," Samuels said.”
Former Owls Head Coach Lane Kiffin said this his freshman year, "I thought he looked like a really special player," Kiffin said. "You can see early, there's a play he's into the boundary and he's got to run all the way out to the field, jumps over a guy to make the tackle. He's an elite talent, height-speed ratio. Obviously a really big gift for us from Alabama."
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