Written By: Roy Countryman @PreacherBoyRoy @Blitzalytics
David Connors @connors_david @Blitzalytics
Offensive Player of the Week
19/28, 393 yds, 14.0 yards per att, 2 TD, 0 INT, 1 pass 2-Pt, 3 carries for 5 yds rushing.
Gilbert had a standout performance it what was the AAF game of the week. He showed tremendous poise in carving up a talented San Antonio secondary and especially flashed his vertical passing abilities by hitting three 50+ yard plays, and becoming the first 300-yard passer in AAF history, and almost eclipsing the 400-yard mark. He led his team to a key victory and is one of the driving forces as to why the Apollos sit atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Gilbert is a very talented passer and is a former Mr. Texas award winner in high school and a 5-star recruit that has signed with Texas. He had an underwhelming career at Texas and then transferred as a grad transfer to SMU, where he was under the tutelage of one of the best passing minds in football June Jones. After college, he was not invited to the Combine but flashed his arm talent and athleticism at his pro day enough to warrant a sixth-round selection of the St. Louis Rams back in 2014 with the 214th overall pick. He did not make the roster though and then bounced around 4 different NFL franchises on the practice squad, offseason roster, or active roster. One of those stops was with the New England Patriots practice squad where he got a Super Bowl ring from their victory over the Seattle Seahawks. His most extensive NFL experience has been with the Carolina Panthers where he spent time on both their practice squad and active roster, even getting a chance to make his NFL debut in relief of injured backup Kyle Allen because Cam Newton had been out with a shoulder injury. He also has NFL bloodlines with his dad playing in the NFL for over a decade. Now he is using the AAF as a means to make a statement that he deserves a shot to get reps at the next level.
Gilbert has a big, strong and sturdy build, with great arm talent. He understands how to look off defensive backs to the opposite side of the field of where he wants to deliver the pass and can cycle through his progressions when given time. He is poised under pressure and will climb the pocket or scramble when under duress. He throws the ball with great touch and accuracy, putting the ball in a position only where his WR can come down with it or in a place to maximize YAC. He has great arm strength to challenge secondaries vertically and will keep DB on the balls of their feet.
I think Gilbert is one of the favorites of the young AAF season for MVP honors, and if he keeps putting up these kinds of performances his phone should definitely be ringing for a chance to compete in an NFL training camp in the fall and hopefully get a fair shake at a competition for a backup role or even bridge QB role until he can prove he can be a consistent QB in the NFL.
Defensive Player of the Week
6 Tackles (6 solo), 3 TFL, 2 Sacks, 4 QB Hits, 1 FF
The Salt Lake City dominated the Iron offense for four straight quarters this past week only allowing the Iron to get in the Red Zone once the entire game, DE Karter Schult was the catalyst of the defensive dominance. Even when he was not making the hit, he was making major contributions to spring his teammates. Iron QB Luis Perez could only muster a measly 4.2 yards per pass attempt when he dropped back, and Shultz and company held Iron RBs Trent Richardson and Ty Isaac to only 43 yards and 2.1 yards per carry. The Birmingham Iron struggles to move the ball in all facets on the field and Karter Schult made his presence known on every play.
Karter Schult was All-Conference in three different sport in High School (football, basketball, and baseball) as well as showing off exceptional skills in the classroom as a member of the National Honor Society. Furthermore, he excelled as a football player. His senior year in 2011, Schult was named all-state by the INA (Iowa Newspaper Association) and IowaPreps.com. He was named National Guard Impact Player of the Year.
Schult took a scholarship to the University of Northern Iowa. He redshirt his freshman season, nevertheless he made an immediate impact every year thereafter seeing action in 25 of his 28 games as a Sophomore and Junior. His Senior season, Schult started all 14 games setting UNI records in Tackle for Loss for a season (23) and Tackles for a loss in a game (5) according to unipanthers.com. He also led his team in sacks with 15 (second most in a season in UNI history) earning himself a spot on the FCS All-American second team, MVFC Scholar-Athlete first-team and the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team. Schult signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent but was a surprise cut before the 2017 regular season. In 2018, Schult joined fellow Player of the Week Garrett Gilbert in Panthers training camp but was dropped to make room on the roster for DE Kiante Anderson.
Karter Schult overpowered competition in High School and college showing off both exceptional run stopping and pass rushing ability. Schult is an incredible athlete who has made a name for himself imposing his will on inferior players. He needs to use his time in the AAF to work on his flexibility and bend.
If he can utilize his time in the AAF to work on his change of direction and pad level he could be a great rotational piece in the NFL. Teams could utilize his ability to make plays in both the run and pass plays to spell their defensive line in and out to keep fresh legs in the game.
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