Many people may know about Robert Gill due to a recent viral YouTube video showing the Cardinals rookie running an unbelievable 25 mph on a treadmill during a training session back in March. In June, the video found its way to YouTube and has gone on to have almost three million views (it currently sits at 2,944,124). You can watch the video here.
Former NFL receiver Chad Johnson was so impressed by the feat that he made his own video to outdo Gill. He got up to 24 mph at a 2.5% incline from a standing start. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? His video can be seen here.
While the video has given Gill attention from ESPN, the NFL Network and even earned him appearances on NBC's The Today Show and CBS' Inside Edition, the real story is Gill's unlikely journey to the NFL.
At 29 years old, Gill is the oldest rookie in the NFL after signing a three-year contract with Arizona this offseason. After playing safety as a senior at East Central High School in San Antonio, football wasn't a priority for Gill. His focus was running track and playing basketball. He never even played football at the collegiate level. After graduating college in 2007, Gill got the urge to give football a shot and so began his long trip to the NFL.
Robert Gill has bounced around several lower level arena football teams and had a brief stint in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where he was cut before training camp. His real break came when he signed with the Kansas City Command of the Arena Football League in 2011. While playing for the Command, head coach Danton Barto had to re-write the offensive plays to compensate for Gill's out-of-this world speed.
To give an idea of just how fast, Gill was once clocked by Louisville Fire offensive coordinator, of the now defunct AF2 league, in the 40 at a blazing 4.19.
When Gill was invited to the Arizona Cardinals minicamp this spring, it only took one practice to make the coaching staff's jaws drop. He was offered his three-year contract immediately following his first and only practice with an NFL team.
With rookies reporting to camp today, Gill still has some work to do. He will need to prove he belongs on a roster that already includes Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and Andre Roberts. If his history has shown us anything, Robert Gill will be up to the challenge.