Johnson City Press Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sports High schools

Redd unsure of football future

March 28th, 2014 7:46 pm by Douglas Fritz

Redd unsure of football future

ELIZABETHTON — Football is still in Vince Redd’s blood, but the former NFL player said he isn’t sure where the next step will take him.

Redd has been undergoing rehabilitation for knee surgery at Physical Therapy Services in Elizabethton. He suffered the injury while playing football in Germany.

“It really is day by day,” said Redd of his future. “It sucks not knowing, or having something set in concrete. I don’t have too many more games I can play. I don’t know how strong I can get my leg, or how much more time I have to play football or any sport.”

Redd, who is 28 years old, was a standout football, basketball and track athlete at Elizabethton High School. He then went to the University of Virginia, playing in 22 games over two seasons before transferring to Liberty University — where he racked up 63 tackles, 6.5 sacks and two interceptions as a linebacker.

In May of 2008, Redd was signed by the New Engla unsure ofnd Patriots as a undrafted free agent. He was released in August, but was signed to the practice squad the next day.

In November, Redd got his break and was signed to the active roster. He played in five of the final six games, recording two tackles on defense and six on special teams.

It was kickoff coverage where Redd seemed to have the best fit. Certainly the guys returning kicks weren’t thrilled with the thought of facing a full-speed 6-foot-6, 260-pound freight train on a mission.

“I felt comfortable doing kickoffs,” said Redd. “I loved it.”

The Kansas City Chiefs picked up Redd off waivers in August of 2009, but released him three weeks later.

Still looking for a chance to play, Redd decided to try the Canadian Football League and went to Calgary.

“They wanted me to sign for an extra year,” said Redd. “I didn’t know if an NFL team would call me, so that put me in a hole. I stayed in Calgary, trying to do anything I could, but then I came back home.”

Next up was a very short stint in the Arena Football League that didn’t involve any game action.

“It’s a weird game” said Redd. “It’s for some people, but for my body size not so much.”

Redd gave it a try with a semi-pro team in Alabama, but later returned to Lynchburg, Va., a nd worked at a clothing store.

In February of 2013, Redd got a call from a former Liberty University teammate, who is a native of Germany. Eventually, Redd signed with the New Yorker Lions of the German Football League.

“He told me they were trying to gain a little speed and size, and so they called me,” said Redd.

One game into the season, Redd tore his ACL.

“I don’t even know how it happened,” said Redd. “I got off the bus and (my knee) was two sizes bigger than my thigh.”

Redd has been back in Elizabethton for about two months. He’s still dealing with fluid on his knee.

One possibility for the near future is returning to Germany as a teacher.

“I have an opportunity to teach English as a second language,” said Redd. “That’s definitely an option. I enjoyed my time in Germany. There are a lot of good people, and I had an opportunity to deal with sports and football.

“But I would have to learn a different language. I don’t know if I want to do that right now. I’ve been brainstorming.

“I am considering working with young athletes in small groups or even one on one, teaching basic understanding of the sport and training them to become smarter athletes. I feel like this is what I really enjoy.”

Redd said he is hoping his NFL days will be able to open a door.

“Anything dealing with football, that looks good on the resume,” said Redd.

For now, Redd said he is being fueled by family and the possibilities in front of him.

“The things driving me are my family and the opportunities,” he said. “The biggest challenge is trying to narrow down what is the best opportunity at this point in my life.”

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