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April 29, 2017

Eagles draft picks Rasul Douglas and Shelton Gibson used to ‘fight’ each other in practices at West Virginia

When Eagles third-round draft pick Rasul Douglas was at the NovaCare Complex on Saturday getting ready to meet the Philadelphia media for the first time, he received news from elsewhere in the facility: Shelton Gibson, a receiver and his teammate at West Virginia, was going to be joining him in Philly.

The Eagles selected Gibson in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and Douglas was happy to hear the news.

And if history is going to repeat itself, some of the passing drills at Eagles rookie practices are going to be pretty competitive. They were at West Virginia, anyway. 

“So, in practices we go in and we fight,” Douglas said of himself and Gibson in college. “We had the last class of the day before every practice, so we would talk to each other and then as soon as practice comes, we hated each other. And now if he catch a ball, I’m fighting him. If I get an interception, he wanted to fight me. That’s how practice went for us, very competitive.”

Douglas would go on to praise Gibson’s speed, and when the receiver later got on a conference call, he echoed those earlier sentiments.

“Everyday it was like, ‘He’ll get me; I’ll get him,’ but we was pushing each other,” Gibson said. “At the end, we were telling each other what we was doing wrong and how we can make it better throughout the week. 

“So, when we got to the games on Saturdays, it became easy to go up against a corner, it became easy to go up against a receiver.”

The Eagles hope that level of competition translates to the NFL. Both players mentioned that they were friends with second-year running back Wendell Smallwood (who was the major talking point on this day last year), another former teammate at West Virginia.

In fact, Gibson said that Smallwood called him earlier today.

“That’s the thing about West Virginia, the players,” Gibson said. “We leave and go to the NFL but we never forget about the players to help them progress through their situations when they’re in college.”

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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