Michigan State vs. Nebraska, 11.17

Luke Gifford takes in Memorial Stadium one last time after the victory over Michigan State in November.

Luke Gifford's calm was strikingly apparent as the NFL Draft approached this past spring. He expressed confidence he would be selected. If he wasn't selected, he said, he knew he still would have a chance to make a team's roster.

He's apparently doing well in that regard.

An undrafted rookie free agent for the Dallas Cowboys, Gifford has caught the eye of at least one writer during offseason work.

"If there is a young linebacker to keep an eye on I have a sneaky feeling about Gifford," wrote Bryan Broaddus of dallascowboys.com. "This kid has a nose for the ball. He plays well on the move and he’s finisher when he gets in position to make plays. Gifford can play both inside and out which gives him that flexibility coaches covet. Where Gifford is going to have to make his mark is in padded practices and then in the preseason games. I have already seen flashes of traits of instinct and range which makes me believe he could pull this off."

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Gifford, a Lincoln Southeast graduate, will learn from some of the best linebackers in the NFL, playing behind a projected starting lineup of Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee. At Nebraska, Gifford last season finished with 62 tackles. He also caused a fumble and had seven quarterback hurries.

Bottom line, he was the team's most disruptive defender and most reliable tackler.

I wouldn't count him out in Dallas.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.


Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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