Clyde grad Gillett still optimistic about pro career

Kelsey Pence
Sep 27, 2013

The Green Bay Packers cut ties with Alex Gillet in late August, but the 2008 Clyde grad isn't giving up on his dream of playing pro football just yet.

After spending three months with the Pack, the former area standout is currently training in Ypsilanti, Mich., and still hoping to get another shot with a pro team.

“Growing up watching the NFL, you always dream of playing in it,” the 22-year-old Gillett said Thursday. “I think the biggest thing that changed for me after being with Green Bay is that I proved to myself that I can play in the NFL.”

While at Clyde, Gillett worked his way into the record books setting single-season records for passing yards (2,733), rushing yards (1,689) and touchdowns (29). He also set a career-record for passing yards (5,500) touchdowns (104) and rushing yards (2,100).

The Fliers went 27-7 in Gillett's three years as the starting quarterback, winning two Sandusky Bay Conference titles and earning back-to-back playoff appearances.

After high school, Gillett played for Eastern Michigan University, starting 30-of-33 career games at quarterback and three at wide receiver.

He completed 349-of-660 passes for 4,453 yards, 35 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. In his final four games with the Eagles, Gillett caught 14 passes for 132 yards and one touch­down at wide receiver.

He played in three of Green Bay's four preseason game, totaling just seven receptions for 42 yards.

While Gillett was obviously bummed about being cut, he said the experience left him extremely optimistic.

“Once getting there and getting used to it, I didn’t think there was a lot of pressure,” he said. “You knew that you had to perform day in and day out if you wanted a spot. It wasn’t as much pressure as getting to the team in the first place in my opinion.

“I always knew that (getting cut) was a possibility,” Gillett added. “Obviously I was disappointed but I think being there, I thought I did a pretty decent job. It gave me confidence to give it another shot.”

The Packers drafted two wide-receivers, Charles Johnson (Grand Valley State) and Kevin Doresey (Maryland), in the seventh round that were both injured while Gillett was on the team. Johnson was cut while Dorsey is on injured reserve.

“They had a couple of guys that were injured that they didn’t get to check out that they had drafted,” Gillett said. “That kind of hurt my chances because they really wanted to see them play. I think I did well when I was there. I haven’t been playing receiver very long so I learned a ton of things just from that.”

Gillett said he's working with an agent and has been in contact with a few NFL and Canadian Football League teams as well.

Gillett didn't finish his undergrad while at Eastern and said that's his backup plan if he doesn't find a team by winter.

“I’m definitely looking to continue playing,” he said. “I thought I had an opportunity (with Seattle) a couple days ago, but that kind of fell through. But hopefully that shows that teams are still interested. I just have to continue to work hard and stay in shape. Playing in the NFL is a once in a lifetime experience that you can’t really explain.”