What Stephon Gilmore did in high school makes being two-time Pro Bowler even more impressive

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Photo credit Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports

FOXBORO -- If you watched Stephon Gilmore in high school you would have had no idea he would one day become a two-time Pro Bowl cornerback.


Because he was primarily a quarterback in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and it wasn't until after his senior season and he enrolled at the University of South Carolina before he truly switched to being a cornerback. 

“I didn’t want to play quarterback going into college,” Gilmore said Wednesday. “I just figured I could play something else and it would advance my success going to the next level. My dad said I would be a good corner. He was just like, ‘You’re tall, you can move. You’d be a bigger corner, but you can still move like a smaller corner, so you should try corner.’ And it worked out.”

Gilmore started every game as a freshman in 2009 and then was named to the All-SEC team in 2010 and 2011 before being selected No. 10 overall by the Bills in the 2012 NFL Draft.

“It was pretty natural, surprisingly,” he said of switching positions. “They’d just say, ‘You have that guy,’ and I’d just follow him everywhere he went. I lacked technique sometimes, but it was pretty natural to me.”

It should be noted Gilmore did have some experience on the defensive side of the ball in high school, he was just primarily known as a quarterback and played sparingly on defense, mostly at safety.

So while most Pro Bowl players have had a lifetime of experience at their respective positions, Gilmore certainly has not.