View Full Version : Steelers attend Alabama A&M pro day

03-09-2011, 09:57 AM
Pittsburgh sent veteran scout Mark Gorsack to Alabama A&T to take a look at NT Frank Kearse. I will have to do some homework on him and get back to you guys.

03-09-2011, 10:21 AM
At 6'5" 295 lbs, he appears to have prototypical size for a 3-4 DE, not a NT.

A&M's Kearse is a big hit with NFL scouts after early struggles

Published: Friday, September 24, 2010, 11:23 AM
Updated: Friday, September 24, 2010, 11:31 AM

By Reggie Benson, The Huntsville Times

HUNTSVILLE, Al. - When Sonja Braxton brought her son, Alabama A&M defensive tackle Frank Kearse, to school four years ago, she took his house keys when she left.

Kearse told his mother he loved football and planned to go pro. He had escaped the traps back home in Savannah, Ga., [- his mom and dad both worked two jobs to make sure he had everything he needed [- and Braxton didn't want anything to distract him from reaching his goal.

"He was either going to make it or come back crawling," Braxton said earlier this week. "I hope he doesn't come back."

If Kearse keeps playing the way he's played through A&M's first three games, he probably won't go back.

The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder has garnered attention from virtually every team in the National Football League. According to Cedric Pearl, A&M's offensive coordinator and the team's NFL liaison, more than half of the 32 teams have been in to see Kearse. In fact, scouts from the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens were in town Thursday.

"They really like him," Pearl said. "He's got a chance."

Nobody would have thought that when he showed up four years ago.

Kearse was an offensive lineman at Savannah High School, but when he picked up his equipment, Henry Harris, who serves as the Bulldogs' director of operations/equipment, gave him a maroon jersey, which is the color the defense wears in practice.

"I told Coach Harris I was supposed to have a white jersey," Kearse remembered. "He told me he was doing what the coaches told him to do."

Ben Blacknall, A&M's defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, recruited Kearse. The Bulldogs had lost defensive tackle Kevin Lockhart, a first-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference performer, and needed somebody to replace him. Blacknall targeted Kearse.

"I was looking for a big defensive lineman and since I was recruiting him, I was going to take him on defense and see if he could play there first," Blacknall said. "If he couldn't, I was going to let him go to offense."

Kearse struggled early on and even considered going home, but realized he didn't have anywhere to go.

"I was 7-and-half hours from home and my folks had taken my keys and told me I couldn't get them back until after the first semester," he said. "I didn't really like it at first. I was falling through the drills and I didn't have any idea what playing defensive line was all about, but I knew I wanted to play, so I made the best of it."

Defensive coordinator Brawnski Towns gave Kearse some film to watch of Lockhart and Ali Hasan, two of A&M's better defensive tackles over the last few years. That helped tremendously, he said.

"I tried to pick up on what they were doing," Kearse said. "Once I learned the plays it was a lot easier. All I had to do was learn the techniques and how to get there."

Kearse has been getting there.

His productivity has increased each year and he's on pace to have his best year yet thanks to having dropped 30 pounds during the offseason.

"I was tired last season," said Kearse, who played at 325 a year ago. "After two or three plays, I was winded. I felt like I had to play more snaps this season to help the team more. I knew we had a young defensive line and I wanted to bear more of the burden. I'm lighter, my wind is better and I'm getting to the ball."

Kearse had his best game of the season in last week's loss at Texas Southern, finishing with eight tackles, including five solos, two tackles for loss and a sack. He'll try to continue his solid play Saturday when A&M (1-2, 0-1) hosts Southern (1-1) in an important SWAC game for both teams. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at Louis Crews Stadium.

"He's playing better than he ever has," Blacknall said. "I think somebody is going to give him a shot if he can stay healthy and keep getting better. It's important that he shows every week that he can dominate the competition."

While Kearse has excelled on the field, he has also excelled in the classroom.
He carries a 3.2 grade point average in social work and is slated to graduate in May. Braxton says he'll become the first of 13 grandchildren to earn a college degree.

"She's already making invitations and graduation isn't until May," Kearse said laughing. "You never want to let mom down."

Kearse's grades, or lack thereof, is the reason he's at A&M.

Georgia, Central Florida and Georgia Southern recruited Kearse along with a number of other schools, but when it appeared he wouldn't be eligible, they all backed off. A&M stuck with him and signed him. After it appeared Kearse was going to be eligible, the schools that backed off started calling him again.

"By that time I wanted to show some loyalty to (A&M) Coach (Anthony) Jones," Kearse said.

One of Kearse's teammates, defensive tackle Justin Harper, was ruled academically ineligible after his freshman year. Something Harper told him still sticks with him even now.

"He told me I had a chance to do great things, but I had to get it done in the classroom," Kearse said. "I took that to heart."

While Kearse's goal appears to be within reach, he has remained level-headed. He said he learned that from his former high school coach Edwin Bailey.

While some of Kearse's friends went down the wrong path, Bailey took him under his wing.

"He pulled me to the side and told me what I needed to do to be successful in life," Kearse said. "I thank God for him. It is because of him I try to stay focused on the little things and the big things will take care of themselves. I just want to stay in the moment and make plays.

"If I go out there and don't make plays, I'm not going anywhere."


Mister Pittsburgh
03-09-2011, 11:12 AM
6'5" doesn't sound like a 3-4 NT.

03-09-2011, 11:50 AM
6'5" doesn't sound like a 3-4 NT.

Not in LeBeau's system. Possible DE?????

03-09-2011, 11:51 AM
When he played at 325, he was "winded" after two plays? ick.

03-09-2011, 01:10 PM
When he played at 325, he was "winded" after two plays? ick.

Sounds like Albert Haynesworth ... maybe we can get the guy to put on another 20 lbs and then he will be worth 20 million a year in bonuses. :lol:

03-09-2011, 01:24 PM
Chances are he is probably shorter as School Programs usually exxagerate. Second, just because Casey is 6'1" and has played the spot for 10 years doesnt mean a bigger player can't play there. Jamaal Williams, Shaun Rogers and Kris Jenkins are all either 6'3" or 6'4" and have been pro-bowlers for years. The Steelers have also shown interest in Jarvis Jenkins & Kenrick Ellis the 6'4" NT's from Clemson and Hampton.

03-09-2011, 04:46 PM
A&M's website says his nickname is Big Spoon....

03-09-2011, 05:04 PM
A&M's website says his nickname is Big Spoon....

We already have the Big Ben's Fork of Greatness...now we can add a Big Spoon of Greatness!!!


Too bad the Ravens already have dibs on the Knife of Greatness. :wink:



03-09-2011, 05:06 PM
A&M's website says his nickname is Big Spoon....

the Steelers better check on the origin of that nickname before considering him any further... :D


03-09-2011, 06:19 PM
Alabama A&M pro day

DT Frank Kearse (6-foot-4, 315 pounds) — He ran 5.30 and 5.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash, had a 30-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-7 broad jump, and did 22 bench-press repetitions at 225 pounds. He also posted 4.66 and 7.80 in the short shuttle and 3-cone drill, respectively. Scouts were impressed with him, and the Steelers’ Mark Gorscak worked out Kearse individually.

03-09-2011, 06:33 PM
Wonder if they cast their eye over any OL that may have been there....

03-10-2011, 12:33 AM
Wonder if they cast their eye over any OL that may have been there....

I believe this is the only OL from Alabama A&M who is draft-eligible:

Alabama A&M OL Anquez Jackson measured 6-foot-3 3/4, 332 pounds at his Pro Day Wednesday, March 9, reports Gil Brandt, of NFL.com. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.30 seconds and 5.38 seconds, the short shuttle in 5.29 seconds and the three-cone drill in 8.16 seconds. He measured a 26-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-6 broad jump and completed 22 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press.

Read more: http://www.kffl.com/gnews.php?id=698818 ... z1GATRQ3jS (http://www.kffl.com/gnews.php?id=698818-nfl-anquez-jackson-participates-in-pro-day#ixzz1GATRQ3jS)

Steel Life
03-10-2011, 12:47 AM
Remember...there is no spoon.

On the OL prospect...only 22 reps? Forget him.

03-10-2011, 10:41 AM
Remember...there is no spoon.

On the OL prospect...only 22 reps? Forget him.

NFLDraftScout has that kid ranked 97th out of the 176 draft eligible OT's they ranked. How many OT's get chosen in a given draft? Maybe two dozen? He won't be drafted.