Gillislee waited until his senior year to become the featured back at the University of Florida. His one productive college season was enough for the Dolphins to draft Gillislee in the fifth round.
This season Gillislee has been mostly inactive and hasn’t received a carry as Miami’s third-string tailback.
That's about to change.
The Dolphins (5-6) have used two tailbacks in their running game all year and would like to continue that in the final five games.
“It gave me an opportunity to grow and become a pro,” Gillislee said of watching from the sidelines this year. “Just by me watching, it made me hungrier and ready to take advantage of this opportunity that I’ve been given.”
Gillislee is expected to play Sunday in a huge game against the New York Jets (5-6). Both teams are among the half-dozen clubs fighting for the final wild-card spot in the AFC. The Dolphins-Jets game essentially will serve as a playoff eliminator. The winner will gain an inside track with four games remaining, while the loser will fall behind the pack.
The Dolphins are 26th in rushing this year and need a spark. Perhaps Gillislee can provide it off the bench. But it will not be easy going against New York’s No. 1-ranked run defense.
“I’ve been ready to go,” Gillislee said about Sunday’s game. “I’m ready to go now. But until I put those pads on, that’s when I’m really ready.”