Newsroom

Kearse spreads healthy message

November 12, 2008
by TERESA M. WALKER
Associated Press

FRANKLIN - Jevon Kearse lives up to his nickname as the Freak with a sculpted, muscular body now in his 10th NFL season. That doesn't mean the Tennessee defensive end doesn't know how to have a little fun.

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Kearse wore a pink headband given to him by a first-grade student Tuesday for a couple minutes while jumping rope. He also handed off footballs and even ran around the gym as part of the NFL's "Take a Player to School" program trying to spread the message to eat right and exercise.

"There's lots of things that can keep you inside the house sitting on your butt. It's good for someone like myself to come and let you know, 'Hey, you've got to get outside.' We didn't get where we were by being inside the house all day. We got outside and had some fun and ran around," Kearse said.

"Even if it was just 60 minutes a day, that 60 minutes a day, it can do a lot for you later on in life."

The message hits home in Tennessee where the state ranks fourth nationally for childhood obesity and in the top five for Type II diabetes in children, according to the advocacy group Trust for America's Health. In 2006, Tennessee's school health report found 41 percent of all students are overweight or "at risk" of being overweight.

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