“I got Drew Brees, Tom Brady…”
Tashaun Gipson keeps an “Interception Wall” in his house.
A shrine with each of the 25 balls he’s intercepted in his NFL career.
A pro career that almost never began.
Gipson didn’t have a set position in high school.
He played quarterback, wide receiver, free safety, and also returned kicks & punts.
Recruited by prominent D1 schools like Baylor, Gipson instead chose the University of Wyoming to play alongside his brother.
In college, Gipson learned yet another position – cornerback.
But the position change wasn’t the biggest adjustment.
Heading 920 miles north of his Dallas high school, Gipson left a sprawling city for a town of 30,000 people.
“From the sign that says ‘Welcome to Laramie’ to the end of the town, I could have probably rode my bike and got through the whole town in 10 minutes.”
In four years at Wyoming, Gipson racked up nine interceptions.
But the reality was he played for a small school in the Mountain West Conference.
While Gipson was dominating in Laramie, scouts were busy taking stock of powerhouse programs like Clemson & Alabama.
So, Tashaun Gipson wasn’t invited to the 2012 NFL Combine.
Instead, he signed with Cleveland as an undrafted free agent where he transitioned back to free safety.
He cracked the 53-man roster as a special teamer. But by Week 3, the rookie played his way into a starting job.
In his first three years in the NFL, Gipson totaled 12 picks and was named to the Pro Bowl.
Now in his ninth season, the late-blooming, 30-year-old ballhawk continues to make an impact in Chicago.
With one game left in the regular season, Gipson is poised to record the most tackles in his career since 2013.
He serves as a strong veteran presence in a Bears secondary that’s getting hot at just the right time.
And with the playoffs looming, he’s eager to add more interception balls to his wall.
“Control what you can control. It’s not where you start, it’s really where you finish.”
This story is an excerpt from The Underdog Newsletter. Get the next issue by joining here.
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