Bears fifth-round draft pick Trevis Gipson has enjoyed participating in the team's virtual offseason program. But the rookie outside linebacker from Tulsa can't wait until he's able to actually begin working out with his new teammates at Halas Hall.
"I'm really anxious to get up there and get a feel for the environment and the amazing fans and just get ready to spend the next couple years of my life there in Chicago," Gipson said Thursday night on the Bears All-Access radio show on WSCR 670 AM.
With all NFL team facilities remaining closed due to the coronavirus, it's unclear when Gipson and his teammates will be permitted to gather at Halas Hall. For the time being, he's learning the defense via teleconference while also trying to assimilate to life in the NFL.
"[I'm] being a sponge," Gipson said. "Taking in the right stuff from the right people that have already been a part of the league and just making sure their mistakes that they made I try to avoid those myself.
"It's really just being open to the new environment, getting to know the people that you're going to be around. [Veteran outside linebacker] Khalil Mack hit me up; asked me if I needed anything, that he was there for me. [I'm] getting a feel for everybody and being all eyes open."
Gipson was a two-year starter at Tulsa, where he earned first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors last year as a senior after setting career highs with 49 tackles, eight sacks and 15 tackles-for-loss. As a junior in 2018, he registered 46 tackles, four sacks, nine tackles-for-loss and five forced fumbles.
Gipson contributed on special teams in college and is eager to make an impact in that aspect of the game in the NFL.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," he said. "Special teams played a real big part of my college career, especially the first two years when I wasn't playing defensively much. I'm really excited to basically start the whole process over again, learn new stuff, more technique, just a whole new level of the game. I'm real anxious for that and I'm sure it will be a real good adrenaline rush running down on kickoffs."
After trading a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Vikings for a fifth-round choice to select Gipson, Bears general manager Ryan Pace told reporters that the 6-4, 253-pounder possesses "tremendous upside as a pass rusher." Pace also revealed that during a an hour-long video pre-draft interview, Gipson came across as natural and authentic, saying: "You could feel the hunger in his voice, the drive, and the desire to be great, the passion."
Gipson's relentless style of play at Tulsa stemmed from his determination to prove himself after receiving only one Division I scholarship offer.
"That sort of turned it up a notch for me," Gipson said. "Now that I'm at the NFL level and I'm working hard to stay here, it's just going to keep getting worse and worse. I'm going to keep becoming more determined."
The proverbial chip that was on Gipson's shoulder when he arrived at Tulsa doubled in size during the draft when he wasn't selected until the fifth round.
"I'm going to play with that chip until it's time to hang the cleats up, man," Gipson said. "I'm respectful to everybody's opinion and stuff … but I just know that the results of the chip that I had the last time when I got passed up in high school, it propelled me."
With the 155th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bears select OLB Trevis Gipson