June 15, 2021

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Diamond In The Rough: Jonathan Gillard

Jonathan Gillard is a 5’11” 180 lbs. defensive back from New Orleans, LA. As a 4-star recruit with a 7.6 overall rating, he plays running back and a part of any and all special team units for Lusher Charter School. Known for his up-tempo and high aggression on the field, Jonathan’s heavy hits spare no one on the opposing team. His speed and agility on all parts of the field make him the all-around hustle player every coach dreams of. Jonathan plans to continue his reign on the defensive front and carry his team to a successful season.

Find Jonathan Gillard’s highlights HERE

At what age did you begin playing football and what motivated you to play this sport?

I first started playing football at about 5 or 6 years old. My dad just put me in pads and from there its history.

What has football taught you about yourself or life?

There’s a lot of ups and downs. Things don’t always go your way. You have to learn how to trust other people sometimes. Nothing is given to you, you have to go take it.

What are some goals or expectations you have for this season?

Personally, I want to be an All-State athlete, whether it be defensive back or running back. Teamwise, I just want to stress to my team that everything starts at practice and I just want us to win a game. That is the goal so far is to win a game.

How do you prepare for an upcoming game?

Knowing who I am and knowing where I came from. Knowing my assignments. Making sure I’m 100% on everything. Put in my mind the whole week that the guy in front of me is in my way and I have to get him out my way.

Any big accomplishments outside of football?

I was second-team all-district goalkeeper in soccer as a sophomore. I have a 3.5 GPA.

Do you think playing goalkeeper benefitted your football career?

I think it did. I think a lot of drills we did at practice helped me with my footwork. Then as a defensive back it helped me stay on my toes a lot and really put myself in the best position possible to make a play on the ball.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When I dream about it, I see myself playing Division 1 football anywhere. Surviving. Finishing college and graduating with a degree. Then I would love to play in the NFL, putting myself in a position to get there along the way.

What would you like to study in college?

Software engineering. My mom had a friend that she worked with and he was a software engineer. He was really kind of picking my brain with it and telling me about it.

Is there any college football or professional football players or teams you like to watch?

My favorite college team to watch is probably Bama. Besides them, probably TCU. My brother gave me a hand-me-down TCU sweatshirt and then I just started watching them. I don’t know what it is about them. I’m not that tall so a player I really liked in college and now in the pros is Ugo Amadi. I like DBs that really are undersized and are hard hitters like Brian Dawkins and Sean Taylor.

How have you stayed in shape since last season?

Prior to COVID-19, I had ordered a barbell. My dad called me crazy, but we had weights and I told him, “well what if I didn’t want to go to the gym?” I had the weights and it put me in a good position to do that. It was a lot of field work with my brother and the senior running back we had last year. I trained with them multiple times a day.

What motivates you the most?

Knowing that I’m not where I want to be. I don’t come from a home where we struggle, but its still not where I want to be. I know how much better I can be if I just stick to it and keep pushing myself. Whether it be education, football home life.

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