Robert Gill, a former TiCat and UFL castoff, just signed a 3 year deal with the NFL Cardinals as the oldest rookie in the NFL at 29 years of age. running an unbelievable 4.19 second 40yard dash and eclipsing 25MPH on a treadmill test.
all while NEVER having played any college ball!
[b]Gill said he signed a three-year deal with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League but never saw the field. He was cut right before training camp and returned stateside to play the last two games of the season with Milwaukee of AF2. Gill also earned a try out for the Buffalo Bills and the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL, where he met Cardinals’ pro scout Josh Scobey.
In a city where the little man has the same odds to hit the jackpot as the big guy, Gill’s size started to work against him. Despite an impressive tryout with the Locomotives, they passed on him. But Scobey took a liking to Gill.
“(He) took me under his wing and said, ‘You are supposed to be in the league,’? Gill said. “I heard that all the time but it’s all about timing … it’s all about timing.?
Gill was cut four times in one season at one point. But in 2010, he signed with the Abilene Ruff Riders of the Intense Football League, a lower-level indoor league. Waiting for him there was Danton Barto.
Barto coached against Gill in the IFL that season and the first thing he noticed was how fast Gill was.
“This guy is flying by our guys,? said Barto, who was hired as an area scout by the St. Louis Rams earlier this month. “It was the first time I had seen him, heard about him or anything of that nature.
“The one thing you can’t teach is speed. And his speed was … you don’t see too many guys in your life as fast as Robert is.?
Barto said he’s seen one other – Deion Sanders.
the Cardinals invited Gill back for minicamp in late April.
It took just one practice for the Cardinals to like what they saw. After the first practice, he was offered a three-year contract. His jaw dropped.
“He has an element you can’t teach, which is speed,? Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said. “The fact that he’s a 29-year-old rookie who has taken the long road to get here says a lot about his passion, desire and overall commitment to the game.
“Being 29 and never playing college football, the odds aren’t with you,? Gill said. “I knew when I got here it was going to be another test for me. I look at it as a challenge.
“I have to prove it. I love it. Every day I love it.?[/b]