Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Duke Lemmens, a Florida product, may have an uphill battle making the team given his position on the depth chart — “There are a lot of good players and not too many spots,” he said — but it’s safe to say he won’t be forgotten. Well, kind of.
While Duke seems like a pretty unique moniker, Lemmens isn’t being called Duke. Thanks to his look — seen below, No. 39 — he’s being called “Kenny G.”
“Yeah, they call me ‘Kenny G,’ and sometimes the coaches don’t even put the ‘G’ on and just call me Kenny,” Lemmens said. “And they’re surprised when I don’t respond when they ask me to do something, but it’s not my natural name. I’m like, ‘I don’t know what you guys are talking about.’ “
But, Lemmens admits, “as long as they remember me somehow, I don’t care.”
“I’m just trying to get noticed any way I can,” he said. “The strength coach (John Lott) the first day called me ‘Carrot Top’ and I thought that was going to stick, but it seems like ‘Kenny G’ has been the winner lately. Some guys have been trying to call me ‘Weird Al’ lately.”
At practice last week, defensive coordinator Ray Horton bellowed for “Kenny G” to move somewhere during a walk-through, and did so without the hint of a smile. Lemmens might has well officially change his name, at least as a Cardinal in Flagstaff. He won’t be changing his look, though, as long as he’s in the NFL.
“It’s my last shot before the real world,” Lemmens said. “I don’t know when that will happen and I’ll never be able to grow out my hair again, so ideally I’d like to grow it out for many more years and not care about anything. We’ll see.
“All I can control is my reps and my effort,” Lemmens added. “I pride myself on two things I can control: How hard I go and how tough I am.”
Not exactly words you’d ever expect Kenny G to utter.
Tags: Duke Lemmens, Ray Horton, undrafted rookie free agents
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