Florida State offensive lineman, St. Pete native dominates on the field while serving others off it

As he prepares for the NFL draft, Florida State offensive lineman and St. Petersburg native Dillan Gibbons is hoping his dream of making it to the NFL will help others dreams come true as well. 

"Caring about people has always been a part of who I am," said Gibbons. 

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Gibbons loves to help others, and at times, the only thing bigger than his signature beard is his heart. 

"I just want to inspire more athletes, more college football players, to utilize this time in our lives the best we can," said Gibbons. 

It's exactly what the Florida State offensive lineman has been doing. Through his "Big Man, Big Heart" organization, the Clearwater Central Catholic alum has helped raise nearly half a million dollars for countless causes. 

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"Money is great," said Gibbons. "But the most radical thing to happen throughout this process, and what has changed my mind about money and raising money for people, has been the power of telling people stories. The power of people understanding the struggle others are going through." 

For all the good he's done on and off the field, Gibbons was awarded the Weurffle Trophy this year, which is awarded to the college football player who best displays leadership on the field and community service off it. 

"For me, it wasn't very personally glorifying. I just couldn't wait to tell my mom or tell my dad," Gibbons said. "It's just a really amazing thing that we've been able to do. And I just hope more college athletes realize the power of doing good." 

Now, as Gibbons prepares for his last college football game, a career in the NFL is the next dream. It's a dream that Gibbons, of course, hopes to share with others. 

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"I realize the power of playing football," said Gibbons. "If I can make it to the NFL, I believe ‘Big Man, Big Heart’ will go into the stratosphere."

Gibbons and the Seminoles play in the Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando against Oklahoma on Dec. 29.