“He is a fierce competitor who has lead our defense in tackles the last two seasons. Twenty-seven straight starts. Toughness is the biggest asset he brings to our team and the other players feed off of it.” Words from Jesuit head football coach Matt Thompson on his 2018 middle line backer Braden Gilby.
Over the past two seasons Jesuit has lost a total of two games, won two District Champions and two Regional Champions on the back of a gritty offense and suffocating defense. A defense which has allowed 269 points in two seasons. Allowing an average of 10 points per game to their opponents over a that span of time. To say the Tiger defense has been good would be an understatement. But for a defense to communicate and operate like a well oiled machine, the leader must walk the walk and talk the talk.
The leader for the Tiger defense has been identified as Braden Gilby. Standing 6 foot 2 inches and between 210 and 220 pounds, Gilby is a force in the middle displaying many of the characteristic needed to be a really good inside backer. “Footwork is definitely key for a linebacker. We make our money playing laterally. You’ve got to be able to move side to side and play sideline to sideline. So doing quick feet drills like ladders and keeping your footwork right is important” NFL Free Agent LB Brandon Spikes puts it perfectly. Gilby does that!
– Key and Diagnose: Every position on defense has a tip or key to look at which dictates a reaction and should lead them to the ball. Gilby is rarely out of place because he reads his keys and gets a step on the ball carrier.
– Physicality: Will run through ball carries.
– Inside Run: Understands how to take on specific lead blockers and plays with a low pad level to attack ball carriers.
– Hand Use: Rarely allows offensive players to get into his pads. Plays with leverage to disengage from blockers.
– Pass Drops: Good hip flip and depth in his pass drops.
BY THE NUMBERS (Career)
Solo Tackles – 150
Total Tackles – 266
Tackles Per Game – 9.9
Sacks – 10.0
Interceptions – 2
Caused Fumbles – 4