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Kent expanding his horizons as Ducks wide receiver
Aug. 31, 2005
By Gregg Doyel
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
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Standing over a urinal, Jordan Kent decided to become Oregon's first three-sport letterman since World War II.
Kent, who averaged 4.8 points and 4.4 rebounds as a sophomore for the Ducks' basketball team and is one of the most versatile track athletes in the country, is playing football this season for the Ducks -- who open Thursday night at Houston.
Jordan Kent will miss the start of Oregon's basketball season while playing football for the Ducks. (Getty Images)
The game's on television, so if you're watching, keep an eye out for Kent. He shouldn't be difficult to spot. For one thing, hell be wearing the same number -- 2 -- he wears in basketball. For another, he'll be the only player on the field with Randy Moss-like size and athletic ability. Kent goes 6-feet-5, 200 pounds, and runs the 100 meters in 10.4 seconds. He long jumps nearly 25 feet, which has made him one of the best dunkers in college basketball.
Kent is, in short, the perfect modern-day wide receiver.
Yet he had never played organized football until this season. Nobody understood that. With that body? That speed? That athletic ability? With his genetic makeup, Kent was bound to be a fine basketball player and a great track athlete.
But he was born to play wide receiver.
"People have always said, 'Why don't you play football? You're perfect,'" Kent says. "I never had the opportunity in high school because so much was riding on basketball and track, trying to win state titles and getting a scholarship. But the football coaches (at Oregon) have always joked about, 'We need you to come out for football.'"
And the football coaches didn't keep that sentiment between themselves and Kent. Even basketball teammates prodded him to give football a shot. This is what All-American forward Luke Jackson told Kent a year ago:
"Dude, I talked to the football coaches -- and you need to be a wideout. That's your calling."
Entering this summer Kent had all but talked himself into going out for the 2005 football team, but it wasn't a done deal until he happened onto Oregon receivers coach Dan Ferrigno near the athletic department weight room.
"You look for the right moment," Kent says. "I went to the bathroom and ran into (Ferrigno). It's funny where it happened, but I'm standing there next to him, and he asks how my summer's going. Then he goes, 'So ... when are you coming out for fall camp?'
"I go, 'It's funny you mentioned that.' We went from there to his office and talked about it."
Before his pursuit of football could go farther, Kent had one more person to speak with: his basketball coach. Also his father, Ernie Kent.
"My dad thought I was crazy at first," Jordan Kent says. "He had no idea."
After discussing the situation with his son as well as with football coach Mike Bellotti, Ernie Kent gave his blessing. Ernie has been a regular at football practice, where he has watched Jordan learn to catch and tuck the football after being stripped regularly in early drills.
"He's been to every single practice, watching and evaluating and seeing where I'm at," Jordan Kent says. "He wants to make sure this is something I can do -- that I'm not just out there running around like a chicken with my head cut off. We sat down after two weeks and I told him this is what I want to do. How many guys have the opportunity to play three sports in college? This is something no one's going to be able to take away, something I can tell my kids down the road -- and it's a lot of fun on top of it."
Entering Thursday's opener, Kent isn't listed as one of the team's top four receivers -- he has only been playing organized football for three weeks -- but this is no lark. He's on the travel team, and Bellotti has said he would like to have Kent through the bowl season, which would mean missing a handful of basketball practices and perhaps a game or two.
Overlapping sports is no big thing for Kent. Each spring he goes from basketball to track and catches up quickly. He was a track All-American last season, running a 46.1-second opening leg on the Ducks' third-place mile relay team. Kent also won the 2003 West Regional 200-meter dash, anchored the school's record-setting 400 relay team that finished sixth at the 2005 NCAA meet, and is among the school's all-time bests in the 100 and long jump. With his size and stride he's probably best suited for the 400, but he has never had the time to devote himself to the event.
And his schedule just got more crowded.
"I've always been curious about football," Kent says. "No matter what happens, at least I can say I gave it a shot. I won't be looking back in 10 years saying, 'Coulda, shoulda, woulda.'"
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Re: Kent expanding his horizons as Ducks wide receiver
i thought worth a bump seeing as weve recently signed him.