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Gibson awaits call

Gibson (The Spokesman-Review)
Gibson (The Spokesman-Review)

WSU receiver eager to get NFL chance

PULLMAN – Some time Sunday Brandon Gibson’s phone will ring.

And, like any graduating senior in America these days, Gibson will be thrilled to hear the voice on the other end telling him he has a job.

But unlike most of those other graduates, Gibson didn’t have a choice with whom he interviewed.

His resume was poked and prodded the past couple of months by a select group – the 32 National Football League teams. One of them will make Gibson theirs, selecting him, more than likely, on the second day of the NFL draft.

“No, not at all,” Gibson answered this week when asked if he was nervous. “It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a long time. I’m just happy to get the opportunity to have a chance to get drafted. This is a rare occasion so I’m just going to be happy for whatever I get.”

Gibson, 6-foot-1 and 206 pounds, flirted with the NFL after a junior year in which he caught 67 passes, led the Pac-10 with 1,180 receiving yards, found the end zone nine times and was named first-team all-conference.

But after being told he could expect to be picked in the middle of the seven-round draft, he returned to WSU. By the end of his senior season, he held the Cougars record in receiving yards (2,756) and was second in career receptions (182).

And despite numbers that dropped in every major category as WSU struggled to move the ball during a 2-11 season, Gibson’s status hasn’t seemed to suffer.

“A lot of people have me in the three-to-five range,” Gibson said of the round he expects to hear his name. “I definitely think I’m a better player than that, but sometimes things don’t really fall into your hands and you do whatever you can.”

One person who believes Gibson might be better than those projections is WSU receivers coach Mike Levenseller.

Levenseller, who has sent four wide receivers to the NFL this decade, thinks Gibson will be the most technically proficient receiver in the draft pool. But he also knows the league puts a premium on speed.

Gibson didn’t work out at the NFL’s combine, done in by a balky hamstring that also kept him out of the Senior Bowl. But he’s run more than once for scouts, posting early times from 4.53 to 4.56 in what he said were wet conditions. In a later workout at the Seahawks facility, he posted times in the 4.4-range.

“It depended on the timing and the rain, that stuff,” Gibson said. “I definitely think I can run.”

Gibson, who will be home with family Sunday watching the draft unfold, hopes to be doing his running for the local team.

“Seattle would be a dream come true,” Gibson said. “I grew up … right down the street from the Kingdome, Qwest Field and all that, so I would love to be a Seattle Seahawk.

“If the cards end up that way, that would be cool.”