CHEYENNE – Trevis Gipson has always admired the way Von Miller played football.
The Denver Broncos linebacker has been one of the NFL’s most fearsome pass rushers since he arrived in the league, and the Tulsa defensive end quickly became a fan.
“I love his angles coming off the edge rush, his pass rush is phenomenal, he has a high motor, and he brings a lot to the game,” Gipson said. “I try to model my game after him, for the most part. I’d like to think I have stolen a couple of his pass rush moves.”
Gipson got an up-close look at the way Miller – and many of the NFL’s best pass-rushers – go about their business this past June. Gipson was one of 40 college players to attend the third Von Miller Pass Rush Summit in Las Vegas.
“I learned some pass rush moves that favor him and favor me,” Gipson said. “I use ‘The Ghost,’ which is a fake stab and come under. Sometimes I bull rush. It all depends on down and distance.”
The 6-foot-4, 268-pound Gipson has 65 tackles (10½ for loss) and five sacks during three seasons at Tulsa. He mostly played special teams as a freshman and sophomore, before recording 46 tackles (29 solo and nine for loss) and four sacks last season.
Gipson – who is not related to former University of Wyoming standouts Marcel and Tashaun Gipson – entered college as a 205-pounder, and is glad he was given time to develop and get used to playing at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
“Playing mostly special teams my first two years helped me get a better feel for the guys I was going to be playing defense with, and how the game was going to be,” he said. “If I had been playing more defensive snaps my freshman year, maybe I wouldn’t be as healthy as I am at this point.
“It also taught me patience. Now that I’m here, I’m relentless. I look back on it now, and I wasn’t ready at the time. Waiting helped me get ready.”
As good as he has been at tackling, Gipson might be better at forcing fumbles. He has forced six during his career, which ranks 11th among active players.
The Cedar Hill, Texas, product treats forcing fumbles as a science, and studies ball-carriers’ tendencies on video.
“When guys get tired, they tend not to think about securing the ball or tucking it away from the defender,” he said. “I try to take advantage of that.”
Gipson said securing the tackle is his No. 1 priority, but forcing a fumble is a close second.
“I usually track the guy down and locate the ball, and see if he is carrying it in his left hand or right hand,” he said. “If the ball is far from me, I have to secure the tackle with my closest hand to him and use my other hand to punch or strip the ball. That’s all from watching film.
“When I make contact, I make sure I am getting the tackle first, and then it’s about getting the turnover.”