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Crawford Ker
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Ker as CEO of Ker's WingHouse Bar & Grill
No. 68     
Guard
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-05-05) May 5, 1962 (age 59)
Place of birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Career information
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 1985 / Round: 3 / Pick: 76
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Dallas Cowboys ( 1985 1990)
Career highlights and awards
* Junior College All-American (1982)
Games played     92
Game started     85
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Crawford Francis Ker (born May 5, 1962) is a former American football guard in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. He played college football at the University of Florida.

Early years

Ker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[1] and was the only son of George and Anne Ker.[2] His father George immigrated to the United States from Scotland, and had previously served in the British Army as a Buckingham Palace guard.[2] When Ker was young, his family moved to Florida, and his father worked several jobs to support the family in Dunedin, Florida; running a lawn service during the day and working at a convenience store at night. After school, and during weekends and summers, Ker followed his father's steps with his work ethic.[2]

In the mid-1970s, George managed the kitchen at a sports restaurant in Clearwater, Florida, where Ker worked as a busboy while he was in high school.[2] During school semester breaks and vacations, he also waited tables and cooked in the kitchen.[2]

Ker attended Dunedin High School in Dunedin.[3] During his junior year in high school, he decided to become a professional football player.[2] He had not played high school football before his junior year, but he started working out; after beginning high school at 145 pounds, he bulked up to 210.[2]

As a senior, he was named All-Conference and the Dunedin Falcons football team won a Pinellas County championship, but no Division I football programs recruited him to play college football. He graduated in 1980, but he wanted to play at a big school to improve his chances of being drafted in the NFL, so he worked out during the first year after graduation, adding another fifty pounds to his six-foot, four-inch frame.[2]

College career

On the advice of a friend, Ker called the football coach at Arizona Western College who invited him to walked-on to the football team.[2] As a sophomore, he was recognized as a junior college ("JUCO") All-American in 1982.[2]

The Florida Gators football coaches were convinced of Ker's talent and offered him a football scholarship to attend the University of Florida for his last 2 years of eligibility in 1983 and 1984.[4] Ker's nickname among his Gators teammates was "Big Daddy," and he could bench-press up to 515 pounds making him one of the strongest players in college football.[2]

He played two years for coach Charley Pell and coach Galen Hall's Florida Gators football teams. As a senior, he was a starter at right tackle on the Gator's 1984 squad that, at the time, was considered the finest Gators football team ever. The Gators' outstanding offensive line was called "The Great Wall of Florida," and included Ker, Phil Bromley, Lomas Brown, Billy Hinson and Jeff Zimmerman.[5]

Behind the blocking of Ker and his Great Wall teammates, the Gators' quarterback Kerwin Bell, fullback John L. Williams and halfback Neal Anderson led the Gators to a 9–1–1 overall win-loss record and won their first Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship with a conference record of 5–0–1.[6] He was recognized as a second-team All-SEC selection and an honorable mention All-American following the 1984 season.[4]

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Ker was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round (76th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft, as part of a change in the offensive line philosophy, when the team started to value size and strength over speed and athletic ability.[7] He was moved to guard, but only played five games as a 23-year-old rookie, after being placed on the injured reserve list with a back injury on October 23.[1]

In 1986, he was named the starter at right guard after Kurt Petersen suffered a season ending left knee injury early in training camp. In 1990, he was switched to left guard to replace Nate Newton, who was moved to right tackle.

Ker became the Cowboys' highest-paid offensive lineman,[2] and started in eighty-six of the Cowboys' ninety-one regular season games from 1986 to 1990.[1]

Denver Broncos

On March 27, 1991, he was signed in plan B free agency by the Denver Broncos. He was placed on the injured reserve list during the 1991 pre-season and later started 10 games after being activated. He was waived on July 9, 1992.[8]

Detroit Lions

On August 20, 1992, he signed with the Detroit Lions.[9] He was released on August 27 and retired.[10]

See also

Bibliography

  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Crawford Ker profile". Pro-Football-Reference.com. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/K/KerxCr20.htm. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Kelley Benham (July 15, 2005). "A wing and a player". St. Petersburg Times.
  3. "Crawford Kerr bio". databaseFootball.com. Archived from the original on February 18, 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20100218040142/http://databasefootball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=KERCRA01. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide". University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida. pp. 87, 96, 98, 183. Archived from the original on February 18, 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20120402035222/http://web.gatorzone.com/football/media/2011/media_guide.pdf. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  5. Norm Carlson (September 11, 2003). "Norm Carlson Looks Back... - The Great Wall". GatorZone.com. https://floridagators.com/news/2003/9/11/5911.aspx. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  6. The title was later vacated by the SEC university presidents because of NCAA rules violations committed by Charley Pell and the Gators coaching staff between 1979 and 1983, before Ker's arrival in Gainesville.
  7. "1985 National Football League Draft". https://www.profootballhof.com/news/1985-national-football-league-draft/. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  8. "Transactions". http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1992-07-09/sports/1992191134_1_15-day-dl-chicago-cubs-assistant-basketball-coach. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  9. "LIONS` ROAR IS STILL AUDIBLE ABOVE ALL THE TRAGEDIES". Chicago Tribune. August 21, 1992. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1992-08-21-9203160438-story.html. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  10. "Transactions". New York Times. August 28, 1991. https://www.nytimes.com/1991/08/28/sports/transactions-487591.html. Retrieved September 27, 2018.

External links

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