The Kansas City Chiefs worked out a man by the name of Jermail Porter according to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star. Hailing from Kent State, Porter is a wrestler, not a football player. Did he play in high school, though? Nope. Any experience playing competitive football? Nope.
He didn't even play peewee football because he was always over the weight limit.
Porter was an offseason tryout for the New England Patriots, who were likely trying to duplicate what they did with guard Stephen Neal, another former wrestler. But Neal had at least played in high school. He's been playing guard for the Patriots for several years. Porter said he was well aware of Neal's history with wrestling.
"I watched a lot of wrestling film on Stephen Neal, first and foremost, because he’s probably the greatest heavyweight in college of all time, and he’s known internationally," Porter said. "So I watched a lot of film on him because this was the avenue he took. It just seemed like it could be a possible transition for me, too.
The Patriots likely brought him in because their defensive coordinator was the former Kent State head coach, so that's the connection. The Patriots also drafted quarterback-turned-wide receiver Julian Edelman so that's another connection. Porter had said he had been thinking about making the jump to football since last year.
His time with the Patriots ultimately didn't work out but head coach Bill Belichick said he's got a good frame (6'5", 310 pounds) and good balance because of his wrestling background.
In a feature with the Boston Globe, Porter said he's just trying to learn as much as possible.
"Yeah, it's definitely not easy," said Porter. "I just got to try to learn as much as I can in the time I have out here. I'm just trying to be a sponge."
The Patriots said they were going to try him on the offensive and defensive lines. Teicher speculates that if anything happens with him, it'll likely be as an off-season developmental thing.
Here are a few links on him:
- Providence Journal: Rookie Jermail Porter hopes first football is pro football
- Boston Globe feature
- VIDEO: Porter and Belichick speak
- Q&A with Porter