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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jayce Gilder, TE, Eastern Washington University

Jayce Gilder the playmaking tight end from Eastern Washington University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jonathan Joyce.

Prospect Profile:

  • Jayce Gilder
  • Eastern Washington University
  • TE
  • 6’4”
  • 245 LBS.
  • Hometown: Corvallis, MT
  • Twitter: @JayceGilder5

2019 Accolades & Statistics:

  • 2019 Big Sky Football Third Team All-Conference.
  • GP: 12
  • Receptions: 25
  • Receiving Yards: 292
  • YPR: 11.68
  • TDs: 3
via @JayceGilder5 (Twitter)

Congratulations on the All-Big Sky honors. What is the initial emotion you felt? Who is the first person you reached out to share it with?

It’s a good feeling to be recognized by the coaches and receive All-Big Sky honors. I felt, as a competitor and what I did this year as an all-around tight end Blocking/Receiving, it was a really big honor. I strived to be the best tight end in the conference and to not get that has really fueled me during training and prepping for the NFL. The first person I reached out to was my dad, he was very proud.

What have you taken away the most from Coach Best, Coach Pulver and the rest of the EWU coaching staff?

How to be a better man. I learned so much from them on and off the field. They taught me to be great and that everything matters. I learned so many life lessons with them that I’ll take with me forever. I’ll always be grateful to them for taking the chance on me and pushing me and believing in me.

via @JayceGilder5 (Twitter)

Tell me about your High School days at Corvallis. You played QB and DE. What did the staff at EWU see in you to make the position move?

At Corvallis, I ran about 15-20 times a game and threw about 20 times a game. I would say they just saw the size and physicality when I would run with the ball. Always was going North and South lowering my shoulder into everyone. Eastern actually didn’t come into the picture until days before signing day I was technically committed to playing at Montana Tech. My head coach at Corvallis sent my film out to Eastern and they watched me play in a basketball game and liked how hard I played and moved around and gave me the call with a preferred walk-on spot.

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When football is over, what do you aspire to do in the professional world?

Not entirely sure on that one just yet. I really have been focused on my dream of playing at the next level and will take it from there.

via @EWUFootball (Twitter)

How would you describe your skill set?

I truly believe I’m a hybrid TE. I can get open and make big-time plays and catches. I always feel like I don’t let the first guy tackle me it always has to be more. I run physical and through people’s faces. As well I feel I bring that physicality over into blocking getting my hands on people and moving them around.

What separates you from other players at your position?

Being a hybrid Tight End. It’s hard to be both and truly can dominate at both. I know I’ve shown on film that I can drive someone back five yards as well make a big catch in the back of the end zone or drag defenders.

via @EWUFootball (Twitter)

Who is the toughest player you’ve competed against during your collegiate career?

There’s been so many great players I’ve gotten the opportunity to play against it’s hard to narrow it down to just one.

If your life was a book, what would the title be?

“Never Satisfied.”

via @EWUFootball (Twitter)

Who is the best player in the NFL today?

Aaron Donald to me is the best player. What he has been able to do at DT is unreal. The most dominant player at his position.

Give me your Mount Rushmore of all-time tight ends, past or present. What made you choose these four players?

Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, and Shannon Sharpe. When it’s all said and done I believe Kittle, Ertz, and Kelce will all be in that conversation. I chose those 4 because they were so dominant and could do it all at the position.

via @EWUFootball (Twitter)

Is there a current or former NFL player you emulate your game after?

George Kittle, his playstyle is a lot like mine. He’s extremely intelligent and physical. He runs through people and moves people off the line of scrimmage. As well plays with a high motor.

Let’s take a trip back to the first day of your freshman year at Corvallis High School. What advice would you give yourself then, knowing what you know now?

Stay the course, keep working harder than anybody else. Don’t worry about what you can’t control and just put your head down and keep working it will all work out.

If I’m in Cheney on a Saturday night during the Fall, where is the one place I have to eat?

That’s a tough one I’d probably say Barrelhouse and get their delicious calzones.

Give me your pitch to an NFL GM. Why will Jayce Gilder be an asset to their organization?

I’ve always been the underdog. I was a walk-on QB turned Tight End, a team captain, and an all-league player. I’ve always had to outwork everybody. My competitive nature doesn’t allow me to not strive to be the best I’m never satisfied and have 100% confidence in myself and abilities. Lastly, I can do it all put, me wherever and I’ll find a way to get it done.

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