Pete Rebstock, Justin Gallimore and Dallas Davis were key ingredients to the string of three consecutive bowl game appearances experienced by the CSU football team.
Now they look to become parts of their respective team’s success in the NFL. The three signed free-agent contracts Sunday, after the seven rounds of the NFL Draft had been completed. Rebstock signed a two-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, while Davis signed a three-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Gallimore inked for three years with the Arizona Cardinals.
Both Davis and Rebstock played wide receiver for CSU, but, at least early on, will be looked upon in the NFL more for their speed and quickness returning punts and kickoffs, while Gallimore, a cornerback, will be expected to show his shifty defensive skills. Rebstock (5-foot-9), Davis (5-10) and Gallimore (5-10) don’t exactly have the height NFL teams look for.
But whatever chance they get, they’ll take.
“I’m content with anything,” Davis said. “I would have paid to do it. Anything is a plus; I’m not really in a position to demand anything. I’m happy with whatever comes my way.”
The respective offers from Kansas City and Pittsburgh came Rebstock’s and Davis’ way almost immediately after the conclusion of the seventh round. Rebstock was a possible fourth-round pick for the Chiefs, higher than any other team had him slated. But when they decided to stock up on the defensive side of the ball, Rebstock received a call as soon as the draft ended.
“I wasn’t expecting to go on Saturday,” Rebstock said. “I knew there was a possibility of me getting drafted on Sunday, so I was a little stressed when the seventh round came along, but I knew for sure that I was going to get picked up.”
Like Rebstock, Davis wasn’t expecting his name to be called early. But within minutes of the conclusion of the draft, the Steelers contacted him.
The two don’t have much time to relish the signing of their pro contracts, as work begins immediately. Davis leaves Thursday for a rookie camp with the Steelers and Rebstock takes off May 1 for a mini-camp with the Chiefs. Both have other camps to attend before full-squad training camps begin in mid-July.
Kansas City and Pittsburgh have both stated they will give ample time for their CSU grads to compete for a spot on the roster, but no guarantees can be made. Both Rebstock and Davis like their chances going into camp.
For Rebstock, though, a graduate of Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, he is fighting for a chance to come back and play against his hometown favorite Denver Broncos. The fact that he was taken by an AFC West Broncos rival hasn’t discouraged him in the least.
“I can’t think of a better place to play. If you can’t play in Denver, why not go to one of their rivals?” Rebstock said. “So hopefully, I’ll make the team and stay in the AFC West.”
Davis, a graduate of Fort Collins High, has heard nothing but positives about the AFC Central’s Steelers, who are well reputed when it comes to the Draft. Former CSU defensive lineman standout Joey Porter started every game for the Steelers in 2001.
“I’ve never been to Pittsburgh but I’m hearing some pretty good things about it,” Davis said. “Especially the organization, I’ve heard a lot of good things about that.”
Obviously, the Chiefs and Steelers heard high praise about Rebstock and Davis. Rebstock finished his career at CSU ranked fifth in career receptions (131), and sixth in receiving yards (1,959) and touchdown catches (13). A first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection last fall, he also ranks third in career punt return average (15.2 yards) and fourth in career kickoff return average (26.3).
Davis ranks No. 10 on CSU’s career list with 1,637 receiving yards. His 127 receptions puts him at No. 6 on CSU’s career list, behind Rebstock. In 1999, Davis set a single-season school record when he averaged 16.9 yards on punt returns.
Gallimore, who was a four-year standout for the Wheat Ridge High School program, heads to the pros after a successful CSU career that he started as a walk-on transfer from the University of Northern Colorado. However, he leaves behind his twin brother Jason, a free safety who remains unsigned, for the first time in his football career. Both started every game for the Rams this past season, in addition to tying the team lead with three interceptions. Justin was recently named the 2001 Liberty Bowl MVP after returning a blocked punt (his second on the year) for a touchdown.
Another notable Ram who went unsigned was safety Aaron Sprague, who is still rumored to be going to the Oakland Raiders. Sprague, a Holyoke native, is still expecting a phone call from the Broncos’ archrival. n