Steelers select Marcus Gilbert in second round

MARCUS GILBERTOffensive Tackle/GuardUniversity of Florida Gators6:06.1-330Fort Lauderdale, FloridaSt. Thomas Aquinas High School2nd Round – 63rd Overall* Quotes from Marcus Gilbert and Sean Kugler below the  bio  *  Offensive Line Coach Sean Kugler Interview - Video

CAREER NOTESIn his two seasons as a full-time starter, Gilbert manned the left offensive tackle position for 13 games and played on the right side for 14 contests, recording 142 knockdowns and 22 touchdown-resulting blocks during that span.

2010 SEASONAll-Southeastern Conference second-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, earning third-team honors from Phil Steele…shifted to the left tackle position as a senior, starting all 13 games…registered a career-best 81 knockdowns with 13 touchdown-resulting blocks, as Florida averaged 350.85 yards in total offense and 166.54 rushing yards per game…was a key member of an offensive line that surrendered one sack or less in seven contests…graded out a Champion (top performance) in six of Florida's games…part of a front wall that allowed 24 quarterback sacks, a reduction from the 28 given up during his junior campaign.2009 SEASONGilbert took over right offensive tackle duties, starting all 14 games for a unit that led the Southeastern Conference and ranked sixth nationally with an average of 457.86 yards in total offense per game…the ground game benefitted from Gilbert's drive blocking, finishing 10th nationally and second in the league with an average of 221.79 yards per game…named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his efforts vs. Kentucky (92%) and turned in one of UF's highest grades of the 2009 campaign when he earned Champions' Club honors with a 99% blocking consistency mark in the win over Georgia.2008 SEASONGilbert played in thirteen games…contributed to Florida's SEC and BCS National Championship Game victories at both offensive guard and tackle, in addition to playing on the field goal unit…the Gators led the SEC in total offense (445.07 ypg) and rushing, as their ground attack placed tenth in the nation with an average of 231.14 yards per game…started at  left guard vs. both Hawaii and Miami and lined up at tight end for a play vs. Tennessee…graded a season-best 93% for blocking consistency in the 70-19 win over The Citadel.2007 SEASONPlayed in all 13 games as a guard, earning his first career start vs. Florida Atlantic at right guard, replacing Maurkice Pouncey…was the last of 22 Gators who made their first career start in 2007…helped the team lead the SEC with an average of 457.15 yards per game in total offense.2006 SEASONRetained freshman eligibility after playing in two games.HIGH SCHOOLAttended St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach George Smith…played guard and tackle on the offensive line during his prep career, as well as doubling on the defensive line…moved over to offense following his sophomore season and became one of three major recruiting prospects, as Sam Young and Dan Wenger eventually enrolled at Notre Dame…received a four-star prospect rating from both Scout.com and Rivals.com. Scout also regarded him as the 42nd-best offensive lineman in the country…added Class 5A All-District XVI honors and was selected to participate in the 2006 Cali-Florida Bowl…also a member of the varsity basketball team and competed in the shot put and discus throws for the track and field squad.PERSONALFamily, Youth and Community Science major…brother, David Walker, was a defensive lineman at Iowa who completed his eligibility following the 2005 season…active member of the Goodwill Gators who participated in visits to Terwilliger Elementary and the Shands Medical Plaza/AGH…son of Katrina and Jeffrey Gilbert…father recently retired from the Secret Service…when the Florida Gators visited the White House to celebrate their second national championship in four years in April of 2009, Gilbert received special recognition by President Barack Obama during the ceremony because his father, Jeff, was a Secret Service agent who helped shield the past three presidents from harm…born 2/15/88…resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Marcus Gilbert Conference CallCongratulations.Hey, how are you doing? Thank you very much.Did you know that the Steelers were this interested in you, and that this was a place that you might end up?It was a high possibility. There were a couple of teams that had a lot of interest in me. But, really I felt, and I was hoping for the Steelers. They have a great organization. The Pittsburgh Steelers, year-in-and-year-out, they compete for a championship. And that's what I want to do. I want to come in and I want to help them win championships by doing anything I can do.How does it feel to be reunited with former teammate Maurkice Pouncey on the line?It's great. It's a blessing. Just to go to a team with a former Gator and a former offensive lineman that I played next to is a blessing. I can learn a lot from him. He can teach me a lot and I can follow his lead. He came in and did a heck of a job. I'm just ready to help lead, to help us get to the top. I'm looking forward to playing for Coach Kugler. What has he told you about playing for the Steelers so far?It's a winning tradition. When you come in, you better bring your lunch pale. You have to come in and work hard every day. You have to bring it, week-in, week-out, no days off. The reason they drafted me is they have a lot of faith in me. It all starts with God. I'm just out of words to say right now.What is your position? What is your preferred position on the line?With me, I feel that Offensive Line Coach, Steve Addazio, at the University of Florida has done a great job of training us, all of the linemen to play all different positions. I just think I'm blessed to have a coach like that. And it's going to help me out in this whole draft process right now. I'm very happy to get this opportunity. I'll come in and play any position that they need me to play.It was a little bit of an adjustment for Maurkice to get used to the cold weather here inPittsburgh. Do you think you can handle that?Yeah, I can handle it. It's football. Your adrenaline is going to kick in. Whenever my number is called, anything I can do I'm going to come in and I'm going to handle business. I'm just looking forward to the opportunity to play at a great organization. I think it's a tremendous opportunity for me and I'm looking forward to taking full advantage of it.Have you heard from Maurkice yet?I've been getting a lot of phone calls. He's probably called me and texted me, but as soon as I get off of here, I'm going to reach out to him. I'm going to connect with him. I know he's very happy to have me on his side. I'm just very proud to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.What did you think of him wearing that Dolphins hat with his brother last night?Those guys are clowns. They are like best friends. All of us are like best friends. We just pull for each other. We try for each other to get to the top. But you know, Mike would have been that high. I guess I was the second guy in line and they gave me this opportunity.Maurkice is actually kind of quiet around us. Are you saying he is more of a clown than we would know?When you get the twins together, it's like a comedy show. But they bring it every day, so you can't ever knock them. They are two of the hungriest players I've been around. If you want to win games, you want to be around guys like that to be on your team. And obviously, the Pittsburgh Steelers made that decision last year. It worked out really well for them. Maurkice, he's serious. He's serious, especially around the Steeler Nation when he's on the field. But off the field, those guys like to have a good time. But he knows when it's time to turn it on and off.Were you ever able to tag along with your dad [Jeffrey Gilbert, recent retiree from the Secret Service]? Are there any famous people you've run across? Have you met any Presidents?Yes I met Bill Clinton and I met President Obama. I know I had a better relationship with President Obama. He keeps in touch with my dad. So I know he was thrilled for me. It was a great experience too, having somebody like my dad to grow up around with the Presidents and watching the elections, just enjoying it. That was another humbling experience. Without my dad, I wouldn't have made it this far. He taught me a lot.Did you ever want to do the same thing he did, or was football always your thing?I thought about it very hard. But football is something I always wanted to do. I grew up as a little kid watching the draft. It was my dream come true to be selected one day. And it's here.The offensive line coach for the Steelers said you could play all four positions on the line. Of your 30 career starts at Florida, how many were at tackle and how many were at guard?I started three games at guard and 27 games at tackle.

Offensive Line Coach Sean Kugler
Are you just taking the best Gator available for your line?I just like taking trips down to Florida each spring to work these guys out. Marcus is a player that has played four positions. He has played both tackle and guard positions. We have a lot of feedback from him, not only this year, but also last year when we were evaluating Maurkice Pouncey and then this year Mike Pouncey. We got a lot of feedback from his coach who is currently at Temple. He's a high energy player, he's athletic, he plays the game physical the way we like here and we feel like he can play different positions for us. It's also an added bonus that he and Maurkice are best buds. There is chemistry there and that chemistry is a big thing in the offensive line room.

What is his best position?Like all our players we are going to train them on both sides and at two positions so they are able to do that on gameday. At some point his best position will come out.

He's primarily a tackle, right?He has pulling skills and we can envision him at the guard spot as well. Right now I couldn't tell you where he is going to line up. We are trying to get the best five and the best two gameday guys behind it. He'll be in the right spot when it comes time to go.

How influential were you at getting an offensive linemen in the draft?It's a process with everybody involved. Everybody here does a great job with the scouts evaluating, coaches doing their evaluating. It's part of it and you just come to a collective head on a player and a position. It's the entire organization involved.

Re: Current tackle injuries:There is uncertainty. There are a couple coming back from injuries, Max Starks and Willie Colon. Flozell Adams spent a good amount of the year injured. We just think we got a good football player that adds to the room. We have a player that we feel is not just locked into one position, and we feel that is important. We have a guy that plays with energy and passion and that is the most important.

Did you talk to Maurkice Pouncey during the evaluation process?Oh yeah, Maurkice was a big advocate for Marcus along with his brother. He is going to tell you how it is and of course I'll take his advice because I respect him as a player, and he'll give you the right advice. He shoots it straight.

Does it make it more difficult, having outside sources telling you what to do?You don't let that affect you, you really boil it down to film and try to be unbiased when watching film and evaluate them as players. Certainly to have a relationship with a player we know can play the game and we respect certainly, that's a plus for the kid going through the evaluation process, but not the reason that he's here.

Did he struggle this year? Did the line in general struggle?I wouldn't say Marcus individually struggled. They had their ups-and-downs. They had some different people plugged in. A new quarterback, all different things, I couldn't exactly tell you why there were struggles, but he's a player that we really valued.

Is Willie Colon an option at guard?We haven't even discussed anything like that. I do know that I would like to have Willie back though.

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