Xavier Gipson's reaction to making NY Jets roster will make you tear up

Xavier Gipson will suit up in Jets green in 2023
NY Jets, Xavier Gipson
NY Jets, Xavier Gipson / Al Pereira/GettyImages

Making an NFL roster is always going to be a challenge for an undrafted free agent, and Stephen F. Austin wide receiver Xavier Gipson knew that when he agreed to a deal with the NY Jets. There aren't many 5-foot-9 wide receivers from FCS programs percolating around NFL rosters right now.

Gipson had several factors working in his favor, however. On top of the fact that he proved to be a solid punt returner, the retirement of Corey Davis made it more likely that New York would keep extra wide receivers on the roster. Gipson still needed some good fortune to make the final cut.

As fate would have it, Gipson ended up surviving cutdown day and making it on the Jets' initial 53-man roster before their Week 1 debut against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night. Hard Knocks captured Gipson's joy and relief when GM Joe Douglas informed him that he was sticking around.

Instead of showing players getting cut this season, Hard Knocks is instead focusing on players who made the roster getting that call that would inevitably change their lives. After initially being vague on Gipson's status, Douglas and Robert Saleh confirmed his presence on the roster before embracing him.

NY Jets wide receiver Xavier Gipson makes 53-man roster

Gipson amassed 4,311 yards and 37 touchdowns during his college career with the Lumberjacks, including two consecutive seasons with at least 1,100 yards. His speed is not in question, and it may have been the trait that had Nathaniel Hackett and the Jets' offensive coaches interested in him.

Gipson recorded nine catches for 97 yards in the preseason, teaming with fellow undrafted free agent success story Jason Brownlee to give the Jets a respectable passing attack. His returns were a mixed bag, but his potential to excel in that area was obvious.

Gipson will likely see more time on special teams in his rookie season than he would as a receiver, but he has the speed to be a solid gunner and worthwhile returner if names like Mecole Hardman and rookie running back Israel Abanikanda do not end up securing one of those roles.

The Jets could have opted for another defensive back or backup lineman, but they valued what Gipson brought to the table so much that players like Zonovan Knight were cut loose to make sure he stuck around.

Gipson has already overcome long odds, so the idea of him becoming a regular contributor can't be ruled out.