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After Two Tours In Navy, Eric Kettani Happy To Be With Redskins

By ZAC BOYER

zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Eric Kettani couldn’t have summarized his professional football career more succinctly on Wednesday, one day after the Washington Redskins signed him to their practice squad.

Kettani

“It’s been a journey,” Kettani said. “I came here on a different path than most football players, but I’m here now and I’ll take advantage of it.”

Kettani, a 5-foot-11, 240-pound fullback, was released by New England on Sept. 4 after three years with the team.

But he didn’t spend the entire time with the Patriots. Kettani attended the Naval Academy, graduating in 2009 as one of only two players to ever rush for more than 2,000 yards in his career.

He was called into service shortly after he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Patriots and spent the next two years based out of Newport, R.I. and Mayport, Fla. working on intermilitary operations.

Kettani returned from duty during the summer of 2011, but the owners’ lockout prevented him from normal offseason workouts. Just when he thought he would be allowed to resume his football career as a member of the Patriots’ practice squad, the Navy again recalled Kettani in October for six months.

This summer provided him the first chance at a normal football offseason, as he participated in organized offseason workouts and training camp in New England. Cut when rosters were finalized on Aug. 31, the Patriots brought him back to their practice squad, but only for the better part of a week.

“You know, the NFL’s a business, and organizations make certain transactions that they need to,” Kettani said. “I’m lucky to be here [in Washington]. I’m excited.”

As part of the Naval Reserves, Kettani is tasked with doing recruiting and public affairs while he pursues football. Part of that meant wearing his dress uniform to and from games while with the Patriots in the preseason – something he hopes he’ll be able to eventually do while in Washington.

“I’m a Redskin now in the nation’s capital, and I’ll just take it day by day,” Kettani said. “The four years [at the Naval Academy] was a long four years, but I’m excited to be back.”

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