Jake Steinberg, TheJetsBlog.com
I received the following Tweet from former Jets QB GJ Kinne yesterday.
Kinne is referring to DB Eric Crocker, his teammate in the AFL for the San Antonio Talons.
Crocker, who went to the University of Arkansas at Monticello, will workout on Thursday, I’m told. He is 6-2, 195 pounds. He racked up 70 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries and 3 interceptions in 19 games for the Talons.
It wasn’t always easy for Crocker though, as Ed Yevelev of the Lodi News-Sentinel explains:
Crocker also had breakdowns off the field. He was a starter in high school when eligible, but those appearances were sporadic due to academics. After graduating from in 2005 with only 10 high school contests under his belt, it was a similar story that fall at Delta College, where grades limited Crocker’s promising start.
His gridiron career almost ended there.
From 2006 to 2009 Crocker was away from the game completely. He worked various jobs — security, at a warehouse, at a group home — to make ends meet, while bouncing around between San Jose and his native Stockton.
“Things didn’t go my way and I had my doubts. It was almost like I didn’t think football was even a possibility,” Crocker said, “that maybe football isn’t for me. Maybe I’m not good enough.”
Starting from scratch, he earned another shot to pursue the game he loved.
That first step was returning to the junior college level at Modesto JC, where Crocker got his grades in order, grew stronger and ended up excelling on the field. An all-conference player in the fall of 2009 at Modesto, he was able to get his associate degree and transfer over to Division-II University of Arkansas-Monticello.
“He came determined to turn it around, and wasn’t afraid to work hard,” said Modesto head coach Sam Young, to whom Crocker credits a lot of his success. “It was no easy feat for him to get his academics in order, and then to knock the rust off and play. But he determined his own destiny.” A member of the UAM secondary from 2010 to 2011, Crocker got a chance to try out for the Arena Football League’s San Antonio Talons at the end of his senior season. He was offered an AFL contract last February, and jumped at the chance to further hone his game and while providing for his son.
Crocker, who is represented by Donte Robinson of Elite Sports Agency, could be added to provide some depth with the potential departure of Darrelle Revis.
From all of us here at TJB, we wish Crocker nothing but the best as he gets ready to turn his dream into a reality later this week.
Check out his impressive highlight tape below: