I think most Packers fans can agree that John Kuhn is a likeable guy. He doesn't get a lot of face time with the cameras, but when he does he makes it count. He does everything right on the field, smiles a lot, and just has a lot of fun making money and playing football.
John Kuhn has recently become one of my favorite players. Not just on the Packers, but in the league. It's a lot of fun to yell "KUUHHHNNN" every time he touches the ball. My younger brother had to ask why the fans were booing at Lambeau field even though the Packers just scored a touchdown, and I had to explain the situation. Of course, they were saying "Kuhn", not "Boooo".
Kuhn is now an important part of the arguably the NFL's best offense. He's a great lead blocker, good at picking up blitzes, rarely fails to convert short-yardage, and has consistent hands coming out of the backfield. He saved the team last season when all their Running Backs went down, and they were left with just Brandon Jackson and Kuhn. Kuhn, despite being a fullback, stepped up and was great playing RB to spell Jackson.
Consistency and versatility are the abbreviated story of Kuhn's NFL career. But perseverance was what got him here.
Unlike some other NFL players, John Kuhn didn't ride the high life on his way into the league (being a highlighted college player and an early draft pick). It was a long road for him, coming for little-known Shippensburg all the way to the Super Bowl Champs Green Bay Packers.
Most Packers fans don't know what college Kuhn came from. Most NFL GMs don't know where Kuhn came from. Hell, I bet some of his teammates don't have a clue where Shippensburg is.
Shippensburg University is a D-II school in Pennsylvania, near his hometown of York, PA, and not too far from Dover High School. Kuhn was an absolute star back then. He was a fulltime running back at that time, rather than a fullback. He was named PSAC Western Division Offensive Player of the Year in 2003 and was a three-time First-Team All- Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division selection. Kuhn rushed for over 4,600 yards and 53 TDs, both school records. Not to mention, he was an Academic All-American in 2003 and 2004, and graduated with a GPA over 3.9.
Following his stellar Senior campaign, Kuhn was confident he had a shot of going to the NFL. He set up a Pro Day, and notified teams around the NFL about the date. Obviously, Kuhn showed up. Surprisingly, not a single NFL team did.
Kuhn kept working hard, stayed confident in his abilites, and ended up signing with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent during the '05 off season. He didn't stick for long. He was released before the start of the season, but ended up signing with their practice squad and was on the PS throughout the Steelers' Super Bowl season.
Kuhn appeared in his first career NFL game in 2006 with the Steelers. It was a powerful 16-yard run. He only got one carry the rest of the season.
He was released that off season, and the Packers didn't hesitate to sign him. The rest is history.
So that's John Kuhn's story, of how he went from nobody to somebody (even though he's still nobody to people outside of Green Bay). His story reminds me of Danny Woodhead, who also was a D-II star who went undrafted, but got just enough chances and made the most of his opportunities (People try to make Tebow's story as heart-warming as theirs, but it just doesn't work when you were a 5-star recruit at Florida and a 1st-round pick). Simply put: Consistency, versatility, and perseverance can help any football player (or person in general) overcome the odds and find success.
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