The 8th Round: Un-Drafted Free Agents That You Need To Know

Interviews NFL Draft Prospect Reports

Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon, Future Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, Hall of Fame DB Jack Butler and Hall of Fame DT John Randle, the Broncos leading career receiver, Rod Smith, former All-Pro OT Jason Peters, CB Brandon Browner, CB Chris Harris, LB Vontaze BurfictRB Joique Bell, RB LaGarrette Blount, RB Danny Woodhead, S and Coach Todd Bowles, S Sammy Knight, Future Hall of Fame TE Antonio Gates, 3 time Pro Bowl TE Paul Coffman, WR Miles Austin, WR Malcolm Floyd,  WR Danny Amendola, WR Victor Cruz, WR Wes Welker, Jason Peters, and Fred Jackson all waited in vain to hear there names called during the draft and had to scratch and claw their ways onto an NFL roster. For the next few weeks I will profile some of their fellow “8th Rounders, un-drafted free agent with the talent to play in the NFL. I’d like to introduce you to Gavin Lutman a wide receiver from Pittsburg State. He is headed to the Vikings Rookie Mini-Camp.

1. I have had the pleasure of watching your career from your time at Pittsburg State.  What would you say are the 5 biggest and best lessons you’ve learned on your journey? 

1. Hard work is king. 

2. Mental toughness makes you physically tough. 

3. Perseverance will be needed to handle all adversity. You will have battles every day and every year. 

4. Competition brings out the best in all of us.  

5. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s where you water it.  

2. the next question, you played for Tom Kruse at Ray-Pec High School, what was that program like and what kind of coach was he? 

The program is one of the best HS programs in Kansas City. We have always been known for winning tradition and talent. Ray-Pec ran the Wing-T offense, primarily a running offense with three backs. We had a Friday night crowd second to none in the KC area. Coach Kruse was one of the greatest coaches I have ever played for. His intelligence and passion for the game is one of the highest I have been around. He gave the best pregame speeches I have ever experienced

He was the first to believe in my talents as a first yearsophomore wide receiver. He is one of the most decorated KC high school coaches.  

Pittsburg State WR Gavin Lutman

 3. Who were your major rivals?  

Our across city rival was Belton High School. Another rival I believe we had was Blue Springs South.  

4. Your home area is loaded with talent Derrick Washington and Andrew Wilson to name a few who are some of the best players you played with or against while you were in high school or growing up? 

Derrick Washington (RB, Mizzou) was one of the best RB I have ever seen play the game as well as play with. Andrew Wilson (LB, Mizzou) was as tough and hard-nosed as they come. The hardest hitter I have played with. While in HS I also played against Blaine Dalton (QB), Aldon Smith (DE) in basketball, Michael Hill (RB). I also played with the entire Coffman family, Chase (TE), Carson (QB), Cameron (QB) 

5. What was your recruitment process like, who was interested and how did you choose your school?   

The recruitment process was very interesting throughout HS. I was a guy who received tons of D1 letters, phone calls, and emails but never received a D1 offer. No one could understand why. I was productive and had the size to play. I received a couple of preferred walk-ons to D1 teams. After my senior season, D2 teams started showing up at the school. I had multiple offers from the MIAA Conference. I chose Pittsburg State because of winning tradition, community, and the opportunity to play.   

6. What was the best game and the biggest play you made as a high school player? 

Fall 2008, at Liberty High School; 7 rec, 240+ yards, 4 TDs. 

 I couldn’t say I can recall a specific play. If I were to ask teammates they may say a 99 yard fade or the successful 4th down conversions. I was the punter my junior and senior year. I was known for taking off and running without a fake called. I converted a 4th down, 4th and 17, with my heels at the back of the end zone. I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time but it worked.  

7. What was your big “Welcome to College Football” Moment?   

I can’t say that I had a big standout moment to welcome me to college football. The first fall camp as a freshman was the toughest I had ever been a part of. As a freshman, we were playing UCM; I ran a vertical seam route and drifted across the middle.  I got smoked pretty good. 

8. What is your current height/weight and what are your testing numbers? 

H: 6’3” 

W: 208 

Kansas Pro Day 

BP: 9 [repetitions]

VJ: 36.5” 

BJ: 10’5” 

40: 4.46

Short shuttle: 4.09

3 Cone: 6.65

60 shuttle: 11.4 (slipped) 

9. How have the systems and staffs at your school impacted your development?  

Going from a high school to college offense was much different. It helped increase my knowledge of the game and aided in terminology. I started out as a receiver in a running based offense then moved to a more passing style offense in later years. This transition helped with route concepts and an understanding of playing at a higher level receiver.  

10. Which coaches have had the greatest impact on you and why?  

High School head coach, Tom Kruse- he helped me grow faster as a receiver. Playing as I sophomore, I had to be more physically and mentally tough. He brought the best out in me and my athleticism as a young wide out. College position coach, Neal Philpot- he was one of the driving forces of motivation throughout my college career.  He knew and saw all of the potential before it even happened. He was a firm believer in my talents as well. He set the bar high for me with higher expectations than he had for others. We had a personal connection because of our playing mindsets and the drive to win.  

11. How hard was to adjust to the verbiage, system and play-book and when did you feel 100% comfortable?  

The first system we had when I got to Pittsburg took me about a week to fully understand the verbiage and concepts. It was a little non-traditional compared to others. My second year we got a new offensive coordinator and went to a more traditional style system that was very easy to follow. It only took a few practices to feel comfortable running plays.   

12. Who have been your favorite teammates, and why? 

Marquise Cushon (WR) I loved playing with Quise. He played slot receiver and we were a great complement to each other’s game on the field. I wanted him to succeed on the field and score every time he touched the ball. It was great because he wanted the same thing for me. He was a small receiver but played with a huge heart and attitude.  

Keeston Terry (SS)- KT was a quiet guy on and off the field. We had lockers right next to each other and he would not say a whole lot. Once he got on the field, he came alive. He was someone you could always count on. You could always trust him on the field. If the defense needed a big play, you knew who was going to make the stop. It did not matter if it was through the air or on the ground. He is a guy that always takes care of business.  

13. Who have been your favorite opponents and why? 

Northwest Missouri– this game was the biggest game and rival in the conference. Whoever won this game was most likely going to win conference and make it to the playoffs. The game always had extra hype. Every year it was the most competitive game to play in because the team with the fewest mistakes was going to win.  

Missouri Western– this team is always in the top five of the conference.  MW was a big trash talking team. It was always a game that brought our team closer together as a group. We played great against then in all three aspects of the game (specials, offense, and defense). It was a solid team win every time we matched up.  

14. If you could put together a list of your favorite players to watch or emulate, who is on that list and why? 

Jordy Nelson and Michael Floyd  

Marshawn Lynch– Beast Mode, enough said.  

15. What NFL teams are your favorites and why?  

 [I’ll guess his current answer would be the Viking?]

16. Which NFL players do you think your game most closely resembles and why?  

Jordy Nelson 

Anquan Boldin 

17. When football is over what would you like to do with your education?  

When football is over I would like to impact others life in a positive way. Whether it’s in sports or business, I believe there is always room for progress and an impact in someone’s life.  

 

18. Finally if you could go back in time to talk to 17 year-old you, what would you tell him?  

Train, train, train! 

19. And what would you do differently if you could do it all over again?  

Train, train, train!! 

20. What [if any] is/are your nickname[s] and how did you get it/them? 

Gavitron and G Lut 


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