Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in an eight-part series about Longhorns hoping to be drafted into the NFL.
Blake Gideon has witnessed plenty of ups and downs during his four years at Texas and his 52 career starts as safety, from dropping an interception during Texas’ game against Tech in 2008 to catching an interception during the national championship game in 2009 to Texas’ 5-7 season in 2010.
His streak of 52 starts is the second highest in UT football history.
“It has flown by, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it,” Gideon said earlier this season.
This season, Gideon was vital in leading the defense — which ranked first in the Big 12 and 14th in the nation. The defense was key in the team’s bouncing back from the 2010 season.
Gideon grew up on football and hopes to continue playing football in the NFL.
“I’m going to be a consistent guy,” Gideon said. “I think I’ve treated these past four years like a professional so I already know what that life is about. I can also say that I have dedicated a large portion of my life to football already so I’m not going to have any issues that they need to worry about off the field.”
During his time at Texas, Gideon posted 276 tackles, 10 interceptions, 20 pass break ups and two sacks. Although Gideon was not invited to the NFL Combine, he felt he did well at Texas’ Pro Day.
Gideon wishes some of his numbers were better, but he is relieved that Pro Day is over. He said all of the players had been working for two-and-a-half months for just one day.
“There were a couple things I wish I had done better,” Gideon said. “I didn’t look and see what everybody was writing down on their own pad, but hopefully guys were calling back to their facilities and saying that Gideon showed up today. I hope they were all good things.”
Gideon’s future is still up in the air and it is unclear whether or not he will be drafted. Still, leadership is one thing Gideon has going for him. He groomed a young UT secondary as a senior.
“He’s been in so many big games, it’s to the point that he doesn’t understand just defense, he understands offense,” defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said. “That’s very hard to get to without a lot of at-bats, and Blake has had a lot of at-bats. So he’s a calming presence.”
Texas has put out a lot of defensive backs in the NFL, a select group Gideon would like to join.
“There are a lot of guys that have come out of that room and made a lot of money and made a name for themselves pretty early in their careers in the NFL,” Gideon said. “We will see how the next few years go and see if I amount to that.”
Gideon graduated in December with a degree in physical culture and sport. After his playing career is over, Gideon hopes to be a coach. His father was a high school football coach.
“I want to coach at the college level when it’s all said and done,” Gideon said. “It’s what I love. It’s what I grew up around and what I am comfortable in. I feel like I have something to offer in that profession.”
Before that, he hopes that a team will call his name on draft day.
“Hopefully somebody gives me a chance and I run with it,” Gideon said.
Printed on Monday, April 23, 2012 as: Gideon hoping for chance in NFL