Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images
The Steelers young linebacker went from 4th in 2019 to winning the award in 2020
-The man who single-handedly put Akron sports on the map when he took his talents from north-central Florida to 40 minutes south of the snot-green sea known as Cleveland.
-The man who scored 5 touchdowns as a defender and special teams player for the Zips, including a punt return touchdown when he wasn’t the punt returner.
Ulysees Gilbert isn’t just the Isaac Redman award winner, he is in the unique position of being one of only two Redman award winners still on the 53-man roster.
During the 2019 season, the Steelers had 5 Redman Award winners on the 53 man roster at various times, Daniel McCullers (2014), Roosevelt Nix (2015), Tyler Matakevich (2016) and Mike Hilton (2017) all played for the team, while 2019 winner Tuzar Skipper was an inactive member of the roster at the end of the season.
Only Hilton and Gilbert are on the 53-man roster right now, while Daniel McCullers is on the team’s practice squad. Hilton is the most successful Redman award winner to date. Can Ulysees Gilbert III follow in his footsteps and become a starter on the Steelers defense? The reality of a Redman Award winner’s situation on the roster is never secure, and the voices of players now reviled by fans whisper a warning to our hero, “As you are now, so once were we.”
But really, that doesn’t matter right now. Much more important are Ulysees Gilbert III’s accomplishments of legend.
Ulysees Gilbert was once fired as a grocery store bagger, because when people got home all they had were sacks full of quarterbacks.
Ulysees Gilbert would have been a star running back, but every time he thought he was escaping the defense, he ran into himself.
Ulysees Gilbert once beat Chuck Norris in a fight.
The above one is actually untrue, as Gilbert isn’t a fighter, but a lover who loves to love love.
When Ulysees Gilbert walks past 6 Lombardi trophies on his way to work, they catcall him.
(I’m good at this stuff, right?)
The vote results
For those that are interested in the numbers, Gilbert won the award with 38% of the vote, Ray-Ray McCloud came in second with 20%, Marcus Allen third with 18% and 14% of voters voted to skip the award all together this year. As an honorable mention, Matt Canada received a good amount of support in the comments following his nomination by Ryland B., but even by the Toronto Steeler Fan suggested formula of each like on his nomination comment counting as ten votes, Matt Canada would have fallen short of the support for Ulysees Gilbert III.
So send up cheers for Behind the Steel Curtain’s newest hero, a man whose fame is sure to rise to the highest of heights, and whose exploits will be recorded in the annals of Steelers lore.
Leave a note in the comments section with your expectations for Ulysees Gilbert, and any tales of his greatness that you wish to share.