2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills top pick Gilmore dreamed of NFL opportunity

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2012-04-27 17:25

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Linda Gilmore will never forget the early morning when her then-seven-year-old son Stephon shook her from of a dead sleep to excitedly share the dream he just had.

``It must have been 4 or 5 in the morning,'' Gilmore recalled on Friday. ```Ma,' this is what he said, `I was there. I was in the NFL.'''

The dream was so vivid, there was nothing she could do to convince to go back to bed.

Some 15 years later, Linda Gilmore was on hand to see that vision come true.

Along with her husband Stevie, the two proud parents joined their son for his visit to Orchard Park. That's where they toured the Buffalo Bills facility, met with coaches and players, and watched as Stephon Gilmore was formally introduced at a news conference a day after the team selected the South Carolina cornerback with the 10th pick in the draft.

``I'm just happy to see that he has achieved his dream with so much hard work and determination,'' she said. ``He just seems so calm and at ease here that it should be a good fit for him.''

The Bills believe so as well. They're counting on Gilmore to make an immediate impact on a defense that's being rebuilt with a focus on limiting big plays, particularly in the passing game after Buffalo ranked 26th or worst in the NFL last year in most statistical categories.

At 6-feet and 193 pounds, Gilmore was regarded as the second-best cornerback prospect in the draft after a three-year career at South Carolina where he started all 40 games. The NFL's draft bio on Gilmore regards him as ``a player who might be the best product produced by (Gamecocks coach) Steve Spurrier since he took over the program in 2005.''

Aside from his speedy and hard-hitting style, Gilmore was praised for his leadership ability and commitment to academics. Majoring in sports and entertainment management, Gilmore has a 3.2 GPA, and is two semesters away from earning his degree, which he intends to one day complete.

For now, getting up to speed on the NFL will become the priority for Gilmore who proved to be a quick study at South Carolina. A quarterback in high school, he made a near seamless switch to cornerback as a freshman. In three years, opponents completed less than 18 percent of passes into his area, while he finished with eight interceptions and is credited with breaking up 17 passes.

``I think I've got a lot to learn. I mean, I don't know it all,'' Gilmore said. ``I'm willing to learn. Whatever the coaches teach me. I'm a confident player, no matter what.''

He's also very soft spoken to the point of seeming to lack emotion. That was evident during the draft at New York's Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night. Gilmore barely broke a smile after his name was called.

``I'm more of a laidback type guy off the field. I take things serious,'' Gilmore said. ``I think once I get on the field, I'm louder. ... I come out of the shell.''

And yes, Gilmore recalls the dream he had as a child about being in the NFL.

``I've been working hard since I was seven,'' he said. ``I always dreamed about it.''

The only thing missing in the dream, he said, was he couldn't make out what team he was playing for.

Though the Carolina Panthers are based just north of his hometown of Rock Hill, S.C., Gilmore didn't have a favorite team growing up. That's now changed.

``The Buffalo Bills are my favorite team now,'' Gilmore said.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ben TateSep 30 01:23p

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate (knee) returned to practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, for the first time since spraining his right knee in the season opener Sept. 7. It means [ More ]

Niles PaulSep 30 01:13p

Washington Redskins TE Niles Paul (concussion) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, and remains in the league's concussion protocol. However, head coach Jay Gruden said Paul is 'making very good progress.'

Mason FosterSep 30 01:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (shoulder) is improving, but he is not sure if he will be available to play in the team's Week 5 game. Getting a [ More ]

Bruce CarterSep 30 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (quadriceps) isn't expected to miss a significant amount of time, but he's not expected to play in Week 5 against the Houston Texans. The [ More ]

Jon GrudenSep 30 12:53p

The Oakland Raiders may look at free-agent head coach Jon Gruden for their head coaching vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The team is looking for a [ More ]

Tom BradySep 30 12:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady and the offense struggled mightily in a 41-14 thrashing by the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4 Monday, Sept. 29, and head coach [ More ]

Trent WilliamsSep 30 12:33p

Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams (knee) and OG Shawn Lauvao (knee) both were held out of practice Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Jalil BrownSep 30 12:13p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent CB Jalil Brown (Dolphins) to their active roster Tuesday, Sept. 30. WR Chandler X. Jones (Browns) and LB Rob Ruggiero (Colts) were signed to the practice squad.

Robert MathisSep 30 12:13p

Indianapolis Colts LB Robert Mathis was signed to a contract extension through the 2016 season Tuesday, Sept. 30. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Bishop SankeySep 30 10:43a

Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey's footwork was a little better in Week 4, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Carson PalmerSep 30 10:03a

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) said the nerve in his shoulder hasn't progressed as much as he'd hoped, but he thinks he could prove capable of starting.

Nick FolesSep 30 09:53a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles has completed 25.6 percent of his throws over 20 yards this season. He is on pace to make 156 attempts of 20 or more [ More ]

Chris RaineySep 30 08:53a

Free-agent RB Chris Rainey (Cardinals) signed an undisclosed deal with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

Knile DavisSep 30 12:12a

Kansas City Cheifs RB Knile Davis rushed for a team-high 107 yards on 16 carries in Week 5 and added one catch for 12 yards.

Brandon LaFellSep 29 11:53p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell had a team-high six receptions for a game-high 119 yards and a touchdown in the Week 4 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiSep 29 11:53p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski hauled in two receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown in the Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs Monday, Sept. 29. [ More ]

Travis KelceSep 29 11:43p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce had eight catches on nine targets for a season-high 93 yards and a touchdown Monday, Sept. 29.

Dennis AllenSep 29 11:43p

The Oakland Raiders called head coach Dennis Allen Monday, Sept. 29, to inform him he has been relieved of his head coaching duties.

Donnie AverySep 29 11:13p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) has been ruled out for the remainder of the team's Week 5 game with a groin injury.

Tom BradySep 29 11:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 14 of his 23 pass attempts for 159 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the Week 4 loss against the Kansas [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonSep 29 11:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (knee) missed practice Monday, Sept. 29, and are not expected to play in Week 5.

Vontaze BurfictSep 29 10:52p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion) did not practice Monday, Sept. 29, but is expected to play in the team's Week 5 game, according to head coach Marvin Lewis.

Marvin JonesSep 29 10:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (foot) is expected to return in Week 5, and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said he 'can't wait' to use Jones in the offense.

Teddy BridgewaterSep 29 09:47p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) did not participate in practice Monday, Sept. 29. QB Christian Ponder worked with the first-team offense during practice.

Geno SmithSep 29 09:47p

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan publicly remained supportive of QB Geno Smith Monday, Sept. 29. He said he talked to the quarterback about his incident with yelling [ More ]

Donald BrownSep 29 09:23p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown and RB Branden Oliver combined for 42 yards on 29 carries in Week 4, and although head coach Mike McCoy bashed the running [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (toe) is not injured, head coach Chip Kelly said Monday, Sept. 29. 'He's not on the treatment list,' Kelly said. [ More ]

Vernon DavisSep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (back) had a 'positive mindset' Monday, Sept. 29, but general manager Trent Baalke said the extent of his injury is 'not fully known.'

Stevan RidleySep 29 09:13p

New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley was on the field for just one of his team's seven offensive snaps in the first quarter Monday, Sept. 29, in the Week [ More ]

Roddy WhiteSep 29 09:03p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White said he expects the team to be involved in high-scoring shootouts all year, and head coach Mike Smith agreed to an extent. 'I don't [ More ]

David NelsonSep 29 08:13p

New York Jets WR David Nelson (ankle) suffered an ankle injury in Week 4, and the signing of WR Chris Owusu could be an indication Nelson's injury is significant. [ More ]

Frank AlexanderSep 29 08:03p

The Carolina Panthers reinstated DE Frank Alexander Monday, Sept. 29, after he served his four-game suspension. He won't count toward the 53-man roster limit for one week.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group