Cribbs aims for NFL

Joey Simon

Last season Josh Cribbs threw for 2,215 yards and rushed for 893 yards. Now Cribbs is hoping for a spot in the NFL, which holds its draft this weekend.

Credit: Andrew popik

While there is much debate over whether or not there is quarterback worthy of the No. 1 pick in this weekend’s NFL Draft, Joshua Cribbs is just trying to prove he can be an NFL quarterback.

The former Kent State star quarterback is looking for a job in one of 30 NFL cities. Since Pop Warner football, Cribbs has wanted to play in the NFL. Sources who have seen Cribbs play suggest he will not be taken in the draft. However, he should have the option to sign on to any team as a free agent after the draft is complete, just as Antonio Gates did two years ago.

“I strongly believe I can do it better than some of the best,” the 6-foot, 220-pounder said. “I feel that I can battle with the best. And I will, and I will show them when I get there. Right now they’re suspect of my quarterback capabilities, but I felt the end of this season was the best of my play at quarterback.”

If Cribbs doesn’t receive interest from the NFL, he has already been drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.

Cribbs’ athleticism has always been able to carry him. Throughout his career at Kent State, Cribbs managed to run around, through, between, beside and over potential tacklers. Despite questions even in high school as to whether he could play quarterback at the college level, Cribbs managed to set numerous throwing and rushing records during his time at Kent State.

Now he’s trying to prove the doubters wrong again.

If he can’t fulfill his dream, Cribbs plans to fall back on his communications degree he will attain in August.

Cribbs has demonstrated his communication skills while he spoke to kids in the area before and after his legal problems last year. Casey Wolf, director of football operations at Kent State, deals with the team’s off-the-field issues and has been one of the main supporters for Cribbs throughout the whole situation. He said Cribbs has a knack for talking to kids.

“The guy in charge walks up to me,” Wolf said, explaining the situation after Cribbs had finished speaking with a group of kids at a detention center near Cleveland, “and he says, ‘hey, I want you to know that’s the most powerful speaker we’ve had come and talk to these kids.’ And they have guys from the Browns, the Cavs and all kinds of guys like that who speak there. It was because he didn’t sugarcoat it. He talked in their language. He talked about life and all the things they’ve been through.

“You have to get to know Josh before you make assumptions about him,” Wolf said. “He’s a great kid. He just made one mistake, and he’s getting abused over it.”

As he looks back at his years at Kent State, Cribbs doesn’t see disappointment or tragedy, he sees success.

“I had some great experiences here,” he said. “I met my wife here. I started my family at Kent State. Even though I had some problems, through all of it there was success, success that’s going to help me when I get my degree and in football. And that’s what’s most important.”

Contact sports correspondent Joey Simon at [email protected].