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At Super Bowl, former teammates Alshon Jeffery, Stephon Gilmore not on speaking terms

Joseph Person, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Football

The coaches and players who knew the two at South Carolina expect a physical, competitive matchup, much like the practice pairings that would often end with the two of them on the ground fighting.

But good luck getting a scouting report from Gilmore or Jeffery, both of whom are quiet guys even during a normal week. Neither was particularly interested in discussing their friendship, which they put on hold for a week in the cold of Minnesota.

"I haven't talked to him this week. I'm pretty sure he feels the same way," Jeffery said Wednesday. "It's nothing on purpose. I mean, I play for the Eagles. Ain't no friends, none of that. It is what it is."

Gilmore had a similar response when asked whether he planned to see Jeffery before the game.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said. "You don't get these (very) often. So you've really got to focus on what you've got to do to help your team win."

Jeffery and Gilmore first met at the North-South All-Star Game, where they were teammates on the South Carolina squad facing North Carolina's best high school players.

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Gilmore was a quarterback at South Pointe High in Rock Hill, although Jeffery wasn't impressed with his passing skills.

"He couldn't throw the ball," Jeffery said, smiling. "He played quarterback in high school and couldn't throw the ball."

But Gilmore did everything else, leading the Stallions to a 15-0 record and state title as a senior while winning "Mr. Football" honors in South Carolina and making multiple All-American teams.

Bobby Carroll, South Pointe's coach at the time, remembers bumping into Gilmore at the junior varsity games on Thursdays and asking him about the varsity's chances the next night.

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