Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Gipson brothers are together again
Richard Anderson photo
Freshman cornerback Tashaun Gipson, left, is interviewed by older brother, sophomore cornerback Marcell Gipson Friday during Media Day.
By Richard Anderson
Wyoming football fans won’t have double vision this fall. They’ll be seeing the name Gipson twice at the same time.
When the Cowboys open the season against Ohio on Aug. 30, brothers Marcell and Tashaun Gipson will be on the field together at the cornerback position -- Marcell at boundary cornerback and Tashaun at field cornerback.
Although the fall depth chart won’t be released until Friday, they could both very well be in the starting line.
Regardless if they start or not, they’ll be on the field together.
“It means a lot to me,” Marcell said. “We’ve been playing together since we were young. He was always bigger than everybody in Pop Warner, so he got to play on my team. Just having him out here, being able to steer him away from those other schools and bring him here and have a chance to play with him, as early as now, that’s a blessing.”
Marcell, a sophomore, is about three years older than his true freshman little brother. He’ll always be his older brother. He is no longer his bigger brother. Tashaun now has him by an inch and about 12 pounds.
“He got bigger than me when he was around 16 or 17,” Marcell said. “I came back to the house and I was like, ‘dang, he’s taller than me now.’ He was skinny at first, but this past summer I came back and he had picked up some weight. He just got bigger than me now. I want everybody to know that.”
Like most brothers, the Gipsons got into a few scrapes together when they were young.
“When he started growing up, he felt like big brother can’t get me no more. We used to have some fights, but I always won them,” Marcell said. “I had to show him.”
It’s different these days. The Gipson brothers are older and closer -- the entire family is. Marcell and Tashaun are two of six children of Kimberly-Roberson Gibson and Michael Gipson. Now, they save their scrapping for on the field.
Both are known for their physical, aggressive style of play.
“He’s more aggressive as far as a cover, I have more speed. We both can hit, so I guess we pretty much have the same style,” Marcell said.
Said Tashaun: “I feel that I am very physical. I’m not squared to come in and hit,” Tashaun said. “I feel that I can cover as well as come down and make the sure tackle. I feel I bring my aggressiveness as well as my quickness to the game.”
Wyoming coach Joe Glenn knows what he has with the Gipson brothers.
"Marcell is a talent,” Glenn said. “He can hit like a Mack truck. And he can cover. He ran a 40-yard dash for pro scouts on grass in a swirling wind in a time of 4.42. He has some speed.”
Glenn said that Tashaun has been one of the more pleasant surprises of fall drills.
“I would say this that if I were pleased with one individual, not so much surprised, but pleased with what we’ve seen early from one player this fall, it would be Tashaun Gipson,” Glenn said. “He does unbelievable things for a true freshman. What may be surprising is that he has played so well at a position that he doesn’t have that much experience at -- cornerback. He played more as a safety, quarterback and return guy in high school. He’s pretty special.”
When the Gipsons get on the field together for the first time against Ohio, it will be the first time in several years that they have actually played together. Marcell was a senior when Tashaun was a freshman in Dallas.
“This is actually the first time for us since we got older, to be on the field at the same time,” Marcell said. “Just to see him on the other side -- I’m more comfortable with him than any other cornerback on the team because I now what type of player he is. We have different styles, but pretty much the same.”
Marcell originally signed with Wyoming in 2005 as a gray shirt and came to Laramie in the spring of 2006. He then played in five games as a true freshman and was credited with three tackles.
Marcell, however, left Wyoming in the spring of 2007 for family matters. He rejoined the Cowboys in the fall of 2007, paying his own way and earning his eligibility back.
Since then, it has been Tashaun’s goal to join his brother at Wyoming.
“Since the recruiting process started and Marcell turned me on to the University of Wyoming, and they started looking at me, I realized it would be special to play with my brother,” Tashaun said. “I mean, who wouldn’t want to play with their brother? I look up to him and I think it is going to be so special.”
Tashaun said Marcell was the best and the biggest recruiter for the Cowboys.
“He sold the deal. That’s all I can say,” Tashaun added. “To tell you the truth, I listened to everything he told me, from the facilities, to the town overall. That was enough.”
Marcell’s first thought on that first play from scrimmage together: It will involve a look and a sign.
“We have a little thing that we do, we cross the hands up (locking down). That’s our way to let each other know we’ll get things going together,” Marcell said.
Little brother will be waiting.
“My first play of the game, I’m going to be nervous,” Tashaun said. “But that’s natural, that’s the type of player that I am. When I look over at the other side, he’ll give me the confidence and let me know that I have a job to do.”
Tashaun joined Marcell in Laramie this summer. It was a chance to work together and do some more family bonding.
“When I first came up here, things were pretty slow, nothing much was happening, so I could focus on football,” Tashaun said. “We were out here every day in the summer. I haven’t had a chance to have fun yet, but I am here to play football and that’s the fun part. My oldest brother and my youngest brother, we all have close relationships. We’re family. We have bonded a little more than we had in the past.”
During Friday’s Media Day, Marcell reveled in the chance to interview Tashaun for a local television station. Maybe another chance to embarrass little brother?
Tashaun wasn't worried. He said he can handle himself just fine.
“I probably won four or five (fights). He might have won two of them and one we might have tied,” Tashaun said, keeping an eye on his brother. “It was a pretty even battle, so I let him think that he beat me all of the time.”
“He’s going to try to get me. I see him over there,” Tashaun said, trying, but failing to hide a wide grin.